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The cooler weather makes autumn an ideal season to spend some time in the garden.
Putting the garden to bed means getting rid of the mess, cleaning up what’s left, packing away the things you won’t need until spring and making sure everything is ready to go when you need it.
Cleaning up debris, scouting for pests and disease and suppressing weeds will mean that much less work to do in the spring.
And you can settle in for winter knowing that when you look out the window, your garden will look contentedly tucked in.
Here are some tasks to do now, to make next year’s garden even better:
1. Enrich garden beds with compost or manure. Just spread an even layer on any exposed soil. Winter’s freezing and thawing, with some extra help from the earthworms, will work it into the soil for you.
2. Collect dried seed from open pollinated flowers & veggies. You can save it to sow next year or do some strategic self-sowing in other parts of your garden. If you want to try expand you skills.
3. Clean bird feeders to get them ready for use.
4. Gather herbs, seed heads and flowers for drying. Leave some flowers for the birds, but get a head start on your garden clean-up by cutting back plants like hydrangea and yarrow and bringing them indoors, for some garden memories.
5. Clean out cold frames for winter use. You won’t want to do it when the temperature hovers below freezing. Cleaning it out in autumn makes it all the more likely you will put it to use in the spring.
6. Clean, sand and oil garden tools before storing them for the winter.
7. Winterize your water garden. Get ready to turn off the pump and turn on the ice breaker. Don’t forget to cover the water garden with netting, to keep the falling leaves out.
8. Keep trees and shrubs well watered until the ground freezes. They may look dormant, but they’re still alive. If you have a mild, dry winter, continue watering throughout the season. This goes doubly for trees that were planted this year.
9. Cut back most perennials. Definitely cut back diseased perennials and remove all foliage and dispose of it somewhere other than the compost.
10. Take cuttings now, before a frost turns your plants to mush. It’s much easier to bring in small cuttings of plants to over-winter, than large pots of mature plants and they’ll transplant better outdoors, next spring.
Took good note of every task you need to do?
Love Autumn 🙂
*these and many other tips at about.com/