Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks

With cooler temperatures, autumn is the ideal time to get back out into the garden, whether you’re adding new plants or maintaining your existing garden. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

1.  Weeding - By pulling out weeds before they flower and set seeds, there will be fewer that overwinter. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

2.  Collect and dispose of (in the trash, not the compost pile) any diseased or insect infested leaves. This will reduce the potential of overwintering spores or insects infecting new growth in the spring, especially with plants like roses. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

3.  Cut back perennials that bloomed in the spring, leaving enough of the stem to mark where they are planted. This will spare you the frustration of accidentally digging up established plants when you decide to add more plants to your garden. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

4.  Pick one section of your garden and improve the soil by adding compost (digging in one to two inches of compost).

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

5.  Add 1- to 2-inches of a fine bark mulch around trees, shrubs and perennials. Make sure to keep mulch from piling up around trunks or stems where moisture can build up, weaken stems and make it easier for pest and disease problems to occur. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

6.  Plant some spring flowering bulbs. Small species of Tulips will act like perennials, provided they don’t receive too much moisture in the summer.

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

7.  Take an inventory of your successes and failures in the garden over the past year. Take a photo of what the garden looks like now. This will be a valuable reference tool.

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

8.  Plant a container combination for winter so you will have something to enjoy on days when the garden is quiet. ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia surrounded by violas will look good for months and require a minimum amount of care.

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

9.  Add at least one new shrub or tree to your garden. This will give you something to look forward to in the spring. Make sure to keep any new plantings well watered throughout fall and winter while they put down roots. 

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

10.  Make a list of projects and plants to add in the spring.

Your Fall To-do List: 11 Essential Garden Tasks photographs

11.  Visit a public garden in your area and discover plants that shine in autumn. 

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