Melinda's How-To: Fall Clean Up

Melinda's Gardening How-To: Fall CLean Up

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.

Fall Leaves

  • 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.

Perennials

  • 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.

Lawn

  • 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‚Äôs Gardening How-To with you!