Clean and prepare your garden for fall and winter.
From fall leaf cleanup to cleaning garden tools, Melinda shows you how to prepare for winter.
- Shred as you mow the lawn and leave them in place. As long as you can see the grass blades through the leaf pieces the lawn will be fine.
- Use shredded leaves as mulch on the soil around perennials.
- Dig shredded leaves into vacant garden beds. They will break down over winter improving the soil.
- Add shredded leaves to the compost pile You will be creating an organic amendment for your garden soil.
- Allow healthy plants stand for the winter.
- This increases hardiness and winter survival.
- Birds and beneficial insects will enjoy the food and shelter.
- Remove and dispose of diseased or insect-infested plant debris.
- Compost healthy leaves and stems you decide to remove.
Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Mulch as needed.
- Maintain a 2 to 3 inch layer of shredded bark or wood chips around trees, shrubs and roses.
- Keep mulch away from the trunk and stems to avoid rot.
- Plants in need of a nutrient boost can be fertilized in fall once the leaves drop.
- Keep mowing as long as the grass keeps growing.
- Mow high and often enough so you remove no more than 1" at a time.
- Leave clippings on the lawn and add moisture, nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
- Fertilize one last time between mid-October and Halloween.
- Spot treat Creeping Charlie growing in the lawn after a hard freeze.
Tools, Containers and Chemicals
- Once fall cleanup is complete:
- Drain and store hoses to increase their longevity.
- Gather, clean and store garden tools for easier access next spring.
- Empty and move glazed, terra cotta and other weather-sensitive pots into the shed or garage for safekeeping.
- Store all chemicals in their original container in a secure location. Liquids need to be stored in a frost-free location. Granules must be kept dry to remain effective in the future.
Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!