Autumn Garden To-Do List

Autumn Garden To-Do List

Before the first “hard” frost (~25°F)

  • Dig up tender bulbs such as dahlias and non-winter-hardy plants for winter storage.
  • Bring inside all frost/freeze-tender potted plants, after treating for insect problems.
  • Pull-up, shake out and bring to the compost pile all vegetable and herb debris killed by frost and weeds.
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs.
  • Clean up and level garden beds and mix-in compost for next year.
  • Cut back spent perennials. Leave grasses untouched for winter interest and cut back in early spring or, if preferred, cut back now to approximately 6 inches.
  • Remove, clean and store away re-usable plant supports and containers.
  • Gather and discard leftover labels, plant tie-ups and non-biodegradables.
  • Clean tools to prevent rusting over the winter and prolong their useful life.
  • Jot down observations from this year to help recall later what you have learned this season to make next year more successful.
  • Drain and coil hoses before they freeze. Store in garage, shed or basement.
  • Drain exterior faucets.
  • Rake leaves off lawns before they mat-down and damage the grass. Shredded leaves can go in the compost pile or can be used as mulch around trees and shrubs.

Now, until the ground freezes: 

  • Plant or transplant trees and shrubs (and maintain soil moisture!).
  • Divide and transplant most perennials, like peonies and daylilies.
  • Plant garlic and shallots for next year.
  • Assure soil around plants newly installed this year is adequately moist.

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