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Fall Garden Maintenance Checklist

Garden tools and wheel barrow

The 8 Things You Need To Know For Fall Gardening! Fall is a great time to get out in the garden to protect your investment and prepare for spring. You can plant new varieties, and clean up and maintain your existing garden to ensure healthy growth next season. We're here to help with a fall gardening checklist.

1. Wildflower Aftercare: Mowing And Seeding

To mow or not to mow? This is a question we’re asked daily by wildflower gardeners throughout the country each year. Read on to learn the pros and cons of mowing your meadow or wildflower planting in the fall, and tips for how to care for your meadow.

Learn More: To Mow (Or Not To Mow) At The End Of The Season

2. Cut Back Perennials

Once your perennials have died back (you'll know in a glance when they turn brown), cut back any dead growth to give the plants a fresh start for the spring. You can leave some flower varieties standing, such as Echinacea and Black Eyed Susans, to create a food source for birds. Ornamental Grasses can also be left up over the winter to create visual interest and habitat for birds and beneficial insects! Any plants that are left up over winter can be cut back in Spring to make way for new growth.

Learn More: Cutting Back Perennials And Wildflowers

3. Plant Perennials and Spring-Blooming Bulbs Before Frost

Did you know that in most cases, fall is actually a much better time to plant than spring? And we’re not just talking about fall-planted bulbs either! As nights lengthen and days begin to cool off, the soil is still quite warm, providing a wonderful environment for plants to focus on root growth rather than putting energy into spring foliage and flower. By the time spring warms the soil and the earth gets moving again, plants have had plenty of time to establish strong, healthy roots and are raring to go!

Learn More: Getting Your Garden Ready For Fall Planting

4. Plant Cover Crops To Protect & Enrich Your Soil

Cover crops can perform a wide range of jobs to improve your garden soil. Are you looking to add nitrogen, fight pests, or stabilize erosion-prone soils? Each job calls for a different cover crop. Our guide will help you choose the perfect cover crop to plant this fall.

Learn More: How To Select Cover Crops For The Home Garden

5. Dig & Store Cold-Sensitive Summer Blooming Bulbs

If you live in a cold area and you grew Dahlias, Gladiolus, and other frost-sensitive bulbs, you can dig these up in the fall, to save them and replant them in spring! The best time to do this is at the end of the season, before your last frost. Store them in a paper bag in a cool, dry place to plant next season.

Learn More: How To Dig & Store Dahlias For Winter and How To Store Spring-Planted Bulbs

6. Divide Mature Perennials

Perennials such as Daylilies and Bearded Iris can be divided in the fall and either moved, or given away to lucky gardening friends!

Learn More: How To Divide & Share Plants With Friends This Fall

7. Protect Sensitive Plants

If you have cold-sensitive plants in the garden bed, protect them with a layer of mulch or natural cloth. If you have cold-sensitive plants in containers, bring them indoors to enjoy during the winter months.

Fall is also a great time to apply a light fertilizer to plants and bulbs! 

8. Force Bulbs For Indoor Blooms In Winter

Just because winter is coming, doesn't mean you can't enjoy fresh flowers year round! Amaryllis and Paperwhites are well-known for their spectacular indoor blooms. You can also chill Fall-Planted Bulbs plant them indoors for early blooms! 

Learn More: How To Force Flower Bulbs For Indoor Blooms

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