If you missed the previous posts on Fall Gardening, you can read those here and here. So not a lot of beautiful garden pictures today, just down to the nitty, gritty chores of maintaining and having healthy gardens. If you’re looking for pretty, check out my End of Summer Garden Tour.
Fall really is a fantastic time to garden. The first reason being that the temps have cooled down. But, the main reason is that it gives us gardeners a jump on next spring. I’ll be honest here and say that by this time, I’m usually done with gardening. The flowers are tired and I’m tired. BUT, when I push myself and get these things done in the fall, it just simply makes for a better spring. So I’m challenging myself and you, as well, to get out there and get these few items checked off our lists. Next spring, we’ll be so happy we did.
Preparation of New Garden Areas. Stake out any areas where you want to create a new garden. Here’s something I tried last year that worked really well. Since this was a new to us house, I knew there were several areas that I was going to makeover and this method worked very well for me:
- Mow the grass or weeds down as low as possible.
- Cover the area with cardboard or a good layer of newspapers.
- Cover the cardboard or newspapers with grass and leave clippings.
- If the forecast doesn’t show rain in the next few days, soak the area really well with the hose.
- In the spring, with just some simple prep, you’ll have an area that’s ready to plant. The soil has been fortified from the paper, leaves and grass clippings over the winter. I would recommend tilling the area to mix the leaves, paper and grass clippings into the soil. Then, with a little raking, you will have a blank slate in which to create your garden bed, whether it be for flowers, veggies or any other kind of garden.
Vegetable Gardens. Clean out the vegetable beds. This is an easy task for me because I only have 4 – 6×6 raised beds to clean out. Here’s what I do:
- Pull all the vegetable plants after the first frost, or when the plants stop producing.
- Chop them up, either with a shovel; or, I just toss the plants in the yard and run the lawnmower over them and then throw the ground up mess back on top of the soil. This is much easier if you have a bag on your mower.
- You can also toss mulched leaves and grass clippings on top of the beds as well.
- In the spring, the composted leaves, plants and grass clippings can be tilled into the soil and then raked out smooth.
- We also hope to add fencing around our veggie beds this fall to keep the critters out.
Flower Gardens. When I set my mind to it and don’t get side-tracked, I can get my flowers beds cleaned up fairly quickly. Here’s what I do:
- Pick up all the decor and statuary. Clean it off and store for the winter.
- Make a quick sweep through the flower beds and pull all the annuals and weeds. I don’t recommend composting weeds, but the annuals can be tossed into the compost. If you want to collect seeds from your annuals, don’t forget to do that first.
- And lastly, on the flowers beds, I take the weed whacker and cut back all the perennials. Sometimes I do leave some of the seed heads for the birds, if I’m feeling generous.
Container Gardens. I usually just dump my containers into a big plastic wheelbarrow that has a hole in the bottom for drainage, chop it up as best I can and leave it to compost over winter. Here are a few other things I do with my containers:
- I pull out any perennials that I’ve used in container gardens and plant them in the ground. I have lots of creeping jenny in containers and it’s actually a perennial here in Zone 4. To save money, I will dig it all out of the planters and put it in a small nursery pot and bury the plant, pot and all. I’m also going to try this with some vinca vine this year. Hosta is another perennial that I use in shady container gardens sometimes.
- If you have Caladium or Begonias, those plants have tubers or bulbs and can be stored over winter and planted again next spring. I will be sharing a post next week on how to over-winter several different kinds of plants.
That’s it – now, let’s get out there and get it done!
Thanks for stopping by today. Are you ready to take on these fall gardening tasks? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re doing to get your gardens ready for fall, and the impending winter. Also, if you haven’t already done so, please take a minute and subscribe (upper right-hand corner) to receive updated posts by email. Have a blessed rest of your day!
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
If you click on and purchase one of these items, I will receive compensation to help defer the cost of this blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks for helping me out!
Gardening items that I’ve purchased from Amazon and LOVE:
I’m joining in the following link parties: