Whether your live in an area where the leaves keep falling, or it just starts to cool off as winter approaches, your garden will benefit from the care you give it now. Not only will a thorough fall garden cleanup improve the appearance of your garden as we head into winter, but the work that you do now will reap benefits for you in the spring.
1. Remove dead annuals and weeds before they drop their seeds.
It’s amazing how quickly these seeds can sprout in the spring. Taking care of this now will make weeding that much easier in the spring.
2. Mulch your garden to improve soil quality using grass clippings, straw and leaves.
Not only is this a good use for garden waste, it keeps the garden waste out of the landfill.
3. Remove any rotten fruit on the ground around your fruit trees.
Insect infestation can sometimes last through the winter, only to infect next year’s crop.
4. After the ground freezes, mulch around your perennials.
This will protect them from frost heaves.
5. Protect bushes with berries from deer and other critters by wrapping.
If you live in an area where salt is used on the roadways, wrap any shrubbery that is close to the road and may end up exposed to salt-laden snow.
6. Cut back perennials.
Otherwise, they can provide a hiding place for pests, such as snails and slugs, to over winter.
7. Improve the appearance of your fall garden with ornaments!
You can achieve this by leaving ornamental grasses, dried flowers and seed heads that are attractive. They will also provide food for birds over the winter.
8. Rake leaves away from apple trees, roses and any plants that are susceptible to powdery mildew.
Dispose of these leaves because the disease can over winter.
9. Remove dead branches from all hardwoods, including fruit trees and roses.
Now is not the time to do any pruning but by removing the dead wood, you remove places for insects to over winter.
10. Keep adding clean garden refuse to your compost bin.
Any garden refuse showing signs of insects or disease should be bagged and discarded. Once you have finished your garden clean up and added the last bit to your compost bin, cover it until spring.
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