Before the first hint of a chill hits the air, before you get out the sweaters and pumpkin spice lattés, you should get your garden ready for fall. If you’re not sure how, try our tips to prepare your garden for that crisp autumn air.
Spring into autumn
Before the ground freezes, you should plant your spring bulbs. Spring bulbs need to be planted early so that they are able to grow properly. For best results, ensure that your spring bulbs are planted at the end of summer or at least by mid-October. After that you risk dealing with frozen ground and soil that is less than kind.
Play doctor with your plants
Any plant that is dead by fall has the chance to infect your entire garden. Get rid of diseased or expired foliage before autumn hits, otherwise you can have an outbreak in your garden that carries over into next season. You don’t have to get rid of the entire infected plant, but you will need to trim away dead or sick stems and leaves. The same goes for weeds. Get rid of them now, otherwise you’ll be dealing with them in the fall.
Stake your trees
If you’ve planted trees in the summer, you’ll need to stake them before fall is upon us. Newly planted trees may not be strong enough to deal with the wind and rain that fall brings, but staking them will help them stay put. Depending on where you live, you may even see snow in the fall. Staking your new trees before autumn is a great way to ensure they remain intact as they grow.
Give your perennials a haircut
Perennials, once they’ve gone dormant, will need to be trimmed. Before fall hits, give your perennials a good pruning. If the stems and leaves of your perennials have not turned brown or yellow yet, you can wait to give them a cut. However, at the onset of any discolouration, it’s time to get out the pruning shears. Now is also a good time to divide up dormant perennials.
Mulch it up
Garden beds need to retain moisture, especially as temperatures drop. Mulch your garden beds at the end of summer so that they’re ready for fall. Also spread compost over your vegetable garden to make sure that it’ll be prepared for the temperature fluctuations that come with autumn. Plus, mulching and compost spreading ensures that your garden will be ready to be dug into come spring.
Don’t stop planting
Just because fall’s around the corner, doesn’t mean you have to stop planting. Many people take a hiatus from their garden as summer dies down, because they feel nothing will grow when the weather changes. This is simply not true. Your garden can be ongoing year-round. Although you don’t have to deal with it during the snowy season, you can still plant in the fall for spring.
Give your tools a bath
Garden tools can rust or stop working as effectively when they’re dirty. Take the time to give your tools a good cleaning before fall. Ideally, you should be cleaning your tools before the onset of each season but many of us forget. So, since you’re already preparing your garden for fall, you might as well give your tools a bath too. Make sure that everything is nice and dry before you leave it for the season.
Set a reminder
Many people neglect to water their garden during fall because they assume the rain will take care of it. If it rains daily where you live, this won’t be a problem. However, if you’re lucky enough to enjoy a warmer than usual fall, then you’ll need to remember to water your garden. Set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget to water your plants. You should also set another reminder to remind yourself to take in any clay pots you have in your garden. You do not want those left outside in the fall or winter. They will become damaged and you’ll have to get new ones. Save yourself the headache and the money by taking your clay pots in before fall.
For the birds
Fall brings beautiful birds with incredible plumage. If you don’t have a bird feeder, you can make your own DIY version or purchase one at your local dollar store. Set up a bird feeder in your backyard and as soon as autumn hits, you’ll notice gorgeous feathered creatures will be flocking to say hello. Just remember to add bird seed regularly, otherwise the birds will stop coming back.
Get your garden ready for fall now, so you don’t have to worry about it when the ground starts to freeze.