Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist

  1. Leaf Removal:
    • Due to the variety of deciduous trees around, a significant leaf drop is expected. Gather and compost these leaves, but ensure those from diseased plants are properly discarded.
  2. Perennials:
    • Once the first frost hits, trim back dead foliage to keep pests at bay.
    • Divide and transplant perennials that appear overgrown or less energetic.
    • Use plant markers to identify perennial spots, making spring gardening more straightforward.
  3. Annuals:
    • After their battle with frost, uproot and compost healthy annuals.
  4. Lawn Care:
    • Continue mowing activities until the grass shows signs of dormancy.
    • Use a fall-specialized fertilizer to invigorate the grassroots.
    • Consider aeration if areas of the lawn appear compacted.
  5. Trees & Shrubs:
    • Remove any dead or damaged branches, saving thorough pruning tasks for late winter.
    • Ensure young or freshly planted trees and shrubs are well-watered until the ground turns frosty.
  6. Bulbs:
    • The autumn season is perfect for planting bulbs that will radiate in spring.
    • Post the initial frost, extract and store bulbs that aren’t winter-hardy.
  7. Vegetable Garden:
    • Pick the last of the crops before heavy frosts settle in.
    • Clean up plant remnants to prevent pests and potential diseases.
    • Now’s a good time to plant garlic, ensuring a rich summer harvest.
  8. Garden Tools & Equipment:
    • Thoroughly clean, sharpen, and safely store garden tools.
    • Conduct end-of-season maintenance on power equipment, ensuring its readiness for the upcoming season.
  9. Compost:
    • Mix and layer your compost pile, adding the season’s fallen leaves.
  10. Mulching:
    • As late fall rolls in, cover perennial beds with protective mulch like straw or chopped leaves, offering protection to plant roots from fluctuating freeze-thaw cycles.
  11. Garden Structures:
    • Check and repair structures such as raised beds, trellises, and barriers, making them winter-resistant.
  12. Water Features:
    • Switch off and stow away water pumps, ensuring other water features are shielded from freezing temperatures.
  13. Protection:
    • Guard sensitive or young trees and shrubs using protective materials like burlap, offering a shield against winter’s harshness.
  14. Planning for Next Year:
    • Reflect upon this year’s gardening exploits, noting both successes and areas that need attention. Initiate preparations and perhaps order essentials for the forthcoming spring.

Considering the subtle intricacies of local gardening conditions, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from the experts at Cole Gardens for custom recommendations based on the specific conditions and challenges of that year.