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.
By pulling out weeds before they flower and set seeds, there will be fewer that overwinter.
2. Collect and Dispose of Any Diseased or Insect-infested Leaves
Don’t put these in your compost, put them in the trash. This will reduce the potential of overwintering spores or insects infecting new growth in the spring, especially with plants like roses.
3. Cut Back Perennials
Trim 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.
4. Pick One Section of Your Garden and Improve the Soil
You can improve the soil by adding compost (digging in one to two inches of compost).
5. Add 1- to 2″ of a Fine Bark Mulch
Add 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.
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.
7. Take an Inventory
Make notes 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.
8. Plant a Container Combination for Winter
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.
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.
10. Make a list of Garden Projects
You can compile of list of tasks you’d like to complete and plants that you want to add in the spring.
11. Visit a Public Garden
You’ll discover plants that thrive in autumn and it will help you gather ideas for your own garden.