Our fall garden checklist will help you make sure everything gets done during the most delightful season of the year to be outside. Fall is a fantastic time to work in the garden. Cool temperatures, bright sunshine and leaves turning colors make for productive and enjoyable work. Fall is the time to lay the foundation for a successful spring.

Fall Garden Checklist1. Plant Spring Bulbs

Planting spring bulbs in the fall gives you something to really look forward to in the spring. Too many gardeners have been disappointed when tulips, daffodils and alliums are blooming in their neighbor’s gardens, and they forgot to plant them in their own. A little sweat in the fall goes a long way in the spring.

For more information: How And When To Plant Spring Bulbs

2. Sow Grass Seed

Fall is a great time to improve your lawn. Seeding, along with aerating and topdressing, is one of the best things you can do for a lush, green lawn. Aeration opens up the soil and allows air, water and nutrients to better get to the root system where it is needed. Topdressing with a quality screened topsoil will create a nice seed bed for the germinating grass plants. Seeding increases the population of grass plants, which can help to squeeze our potential weeds. Most of the seed will germinate in the fall but do not worry if not all of it does. Some seed will go dormant for the winter and grow in the spring.

For More Information: Fall Lawn Care Tips

3. Plant Garlic

Growing garlic requires one to take the long view. Plant it now and harvest it next August. Growing garlic is easy and requires little on-going work. Do however make sure to protect the new plantings for the winter with a light layer of mulch or shredded leaves.

For More Information: Grow Your Own Garlic

Fall Garden Checklist

4. Prune Out Dead Limbs

Number four on our fall garden checklist is all about protecting your trees.

It is never a good idea to leave dead limbs in a tree. Besides the possibility that it could fall on something below it (a gardener perhaps?), it is also an entry point for damaging pests into the tree. The dead limb could also rot, causing live wood in the tree to also begin to rot. 

Pruning out dead wood can be done anytime of the year but fall is certainly the ideal season. Make sure your pruning tools are nice and sharp, and hone up on proper pruning techniques before getting started. 

Pro Tip: Never use pruning paint or any other substance to cover the cut. It has been proven that there is no benefit to this old practice and can actually slow down the tree’s natural healing.

5. Protect Tender Plants

Winter is coming and with it, cold temperatures and dry air.

If you have just planted new plants this year, or are growing plants that typically grow in a zone south of you, be sure to protect them from the winter cold. These plants have tender root systems that are important to the plant’s development and growth. If they are damaged, the plant could die or be permanently damaged. Use a light layer of mulch or better yet, shred some if those leaves you rake up with a lawn mower. What a great way to recycle!

For More Information: Mulch Mistakes To Avoid

6. Plant Trees and Shrubs

The last item on our fall garden checklist is to plant new trees and shrubs. The het of summer has come and gone and, most likely, you may have lost some plants. Fall is an ideal time to get new shrubs and trees into the ground. Plants go through less planting shock when planted in the fall. The lower temperatures make it so much easier for them to adapt to their new home.  While the top of the plant may be sleeping the winter away, the root system is still growing so when spring hits, the plant is ready to grow.

For More Information: How To Care For New Shrubs And Trees

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