As the last couple of blooms appear in the garden, it’s a good time to work on a few fall garden tasks to keep your garden tidy and ready for winter.
While we don’t want to do any substantial pruning until late winter/early spring, late fall is a good time to prune out any dead or spent perennial remnants. If your flowering perennials are still going strong, you can deadhead as you’d like. Some deciduous perennials and grasses can be left for winter interest and wildlife. The mild temperatures and added moisture from rain means we don’t want to hard prune trees, shrubs, etc as that can invite disease.
If your grass is still growing, you can still mow it. Because we are getting so much more rain now, it’s important to try to keep debris off your lawn to reduce fungus growth and pest issues. More rain also means you can cut back on how much/often you’re watering.
To keep weeds from going to seed, it’s important to still keep up on weeding. Any leaves that have fallen from your trees are great for suppressing weed growth. Just rake or blow them into your planting beds and you can keep them there through the winter. If you have an excess of leaves, you shouldn’t use all of them in your beds, just a light layer will do.
Because the temperatures are more mild and we are getting more rain, fall is the best time for adding, dividing, or transplanting most plants. It’s also the time to get those spring blooming bulbs in the ground before it freezes.
Check in on plant health and soil moisture and adjust your irrigation as necessary. Make sure to check the soil moisture in your potted plants regularly, even through the winter, and water as needed. October is the ideal time to shut down your irrigation system and get it winterized. Winterizing your system properly will reduce the risk of damage from freezing over the winter.
To prevent staining or moss and weed growth, be sure to clean any leaves or other debris off your patios, decks, and paths as needed. If you have a water feature, keep clear of debris and regularly check the pump and filter for any leaves or sticks so it doesn’t get clogged up. Make sure your feature has plenty of water so the pump never runs dry.
What fall garden task gives you the best leg up for winter and spring? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!