Ever heard that an end is just a new beginning? That’s how I feel about late fall in the garden. Yes, the season may be coming to a close, but it’s also an opening for future growing success.
With a little hard work cleaning, preparing, protecting and planning, you’ll set the stage to start your garden with a clean slate next year. Here’s how:
[ ] Remove dead and/or diseased plants from the garden.
[ ] Pull out weeds.
[ ] Harvest and store cabbage and root vegetables.
[ ] Send annuals to the compost.
[ ] Rake fallen leaves off the lawn, removing any diseased ones. Use remaining dried leaves for compost or use your lawn mower to shred them up for mulch.
[ ] Clean out fertilizer spreaders.
[ ] Winterize your lawn mower with a good cleaning and remove the fuel.
[ ] Tuck in tools, such as spades, shovels and trowels, by cleaning off any hardened soil with water and a brush; wipe metal surfaces with an oily cloth to prevent rust.
[ ] Go one step further and give your flower beds a fresh edging. It’s one less task you’ll have to do in the spring.
Prepare for the coming cold
[ ] Sow a cover crop of winter rye or wheat in vegetable gardens (available at some garden centres and farming stores) to prevent soil erosion and add nutrients; till it under next spring.
[ ] Continue watering trees and shrubs (especially evergreens) until they freeze up to help minimize moisture loss throughout winter.
[ ] Add shredded leaves, compost and/or composted manure to amend and improve your soil.
[ ] Empty, wash and store away dry terracotta and clay containers in your garage. On apartment balconies, turn pots upside down and cover them with a waterproof tarpaulin.