Are you sitting back thinking your garden work is over for the year? Think again, now’s the time to kick it into high gear and put your garden to bed. How you wind up your season can play a big part in the health of your garden next year and how much work you have to do next spring. Don’t leave diseased plants or plant parts in your garden over the winter. Don’t compost them either, just bag them up and have them hauled away. If you’ve had trouble with insects in your vegetable garden, like squash bugs, clean up debris because they’ll overwinter in places just like that. Find your gloves because here is a list of things to keep you busy before winter sets in.
- Use your leaves to mulch everything because there is no better mulching material. Shred them up first. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a shredder, run over them with your lawn mower. That’s what I do and it works just fine. Don’t use Walnut leaves at all. They contain a chemical that inhibits growth in other plants.
- Fertilize your lawn. Fall is, by far, the best time. Your lawn will thank you by being greener and thicker next spring.
- Cut your grass shorter for winter but don’t scalp it. That exposes the crown of the plant to winter weather which can cause damage.
- Plant Trees! Make sure you choose the right tree for your planting spot. Don’t plant your tree too deep. Make sure you see the root flare when you’re finished. It shouldn’t look like a telephone pole.
- Dig your summer bulbs and store for winter. Use an insulating material like peat moss or vermiculite. Toss any that are diseased or have insect damage.
- Houseplants should be back in the house by now. Check them frequently to be sure you don’t have insects appearing. Stop fertilizing and cut back on your water for the winter.
- Plant bulbs. You’ll be rewarded next spring, just when you need some color. Don’t forget garlic. It will be ready to harvest next July.
- Plant paper-whites for Christmas.
- Run your sprinkler clock through a complete cycle after your system is blown out.
- Don’t prune your roses until next spring. If the plants are big and in your way, prune them enough to get control, but save your major pruning until it starts to warm up.
- Collect weeds for a weed bouquet.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. The weather has been perfect for getting our autumn chores finished. I made the list, now, get your gloves and head outside.