6 Essential Fall Garden Tasks

Putting the Gardens to Bed

It’s that time of year when we look at that daunting list of essential fall garden tasks. Every one seems to have their list, whether it’s a mere 4 or 5 or this long list of 16 from Canadian Gardening.

Are you asking yourself if it really is essential to complete all these fall tasks that are on the list?  I mean, 16 essential fall garden tasks! That’s a lot of work.

So here is my list of 6 absolutely essential fall garden tasks. Let the rest wait until spring!

6 Essential Fall Garden Tasks:

  • Clean up your lawn. Dead leaves that overwinter on your grass will create dead spots, as well as being a great environment for insects and mold. Run the mower over all those leaves that are littering the lawn, and collect the leaves in the mower bag. Presto – clean lawn and a bonus of mulch for your flower beds – or to add to your compost bin.
  • Lift and separate clumps of iris, hostas and day lilies. You can divide them with a spade, or tease them apart. Replant the divisions, or give them to other gardeners who are looking for additions to their garden. Cut back the tops, water well, and you’ll be rewarded next spring with new sturdy plants that bloom abundantly.
  • Winterize your watering system. Split hoses and blown sprinkler heads are costly to replace. Blow out your underground irrigation system, drain your hoses and if you’re in a really cold area, store them inside.
  • Plant your hardy bulbs –lilies, tulips, hyacinth, crocus and daffodils. If you want to have spring color, these must be planted in the fall. Many of these are native to mountainous areas, and actually need a long dormant rest – in the cold – to grow properly and bloom come spring. Disguise your planting area with a mulch of those leaves, and the squirrels (who love eating bulbs) won’t find them.
  • Fall is the best time to plant new evergreens and shrubs. Get them into the ground; water them thoroughly before the ground freezes. Over the winter they will develop a strong root system.  An added bonus is you can often buy these at discounted prices.
  • Remove all your summer annuals and trim back perennials. Leave in place your ornamental grasses and any seed heads that will add interest in the winter. Mature seed heads of alliums, teasels, joe pye weed and rudbeckia, and any of the composite family are good choices. I know some of these are rampant self-seeders, but by leaving them in place, these seed heads provide food for birds

So there you have it – 6 absolutely essential fall garden tasks. I know every gardener has their list. I’d love you to share yours below.

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