ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fall Garden Clean Up Checklist

Updated on October 16, 2014
Fall foliage in the garden, a sign to start raking!
Fall foliage in the garden, a sign to start raking! | Source

Winter Garden Preparations

Winter garden preparations and cleaning up the garden in the fall is one of the most important tasks for the organic gardener, yet many people neglect taking the proper steps to prevent frost damage, damaged plants, and insect infestations. Use the following 10-step checklist to encourage healthy plants and keep your garden accessories looking great year after year. Although it may seem like just another task to add to your busy life this fall, winter garden preparations are an investment. Invest the time, save money and headaches later!

Fall Garden Checklist

Use this 10-step checklist to help you organize your time in the garden for your fall garden clean up day. You can tackle all of these tasks in one day, depending on the size of your garden, or break them into manageable steps.

  1. Remove dead annual flowers and vegetables. Dead plants in the garden are not only unattractive, they can harbor diseases. Fallen seeds can sprout into next year's volunteers or random seedlings. You may want such plants or not. Cleaning up spent plants adds to the health of your garden. Compost healthy plant material but don't compost frost-killed flowers and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and others unless you want seeds in your compost for next year.
  2. Cut back perennial flowers. Dead leaves and flower stalks also make good places for insect larvae, viruses and other microorganisms to hide throughout the winter and emerge in the spring. While some insects are beneficial, many are not. Cutting back perennial flowers and plants after the first frost is also beneficial for your garden.
  3. Mulch. Spread a good layer of the mulch of your choice around your shrubs and perennial flowers. Mulch helps regulate the temperature near the roots of your plants and prevents heaving, or uplifting plants when the ground freezes and thaws. It also helps retain moisture and prevent erosion.
  4. Turn the compost. It's a good idea to turn the compost pile now before it freezes solid. That way you'll have plenty of good, rich compost ready to spread in the spring. Use a garden fork or spade and move the old, crumbly, ready-to-use compost into a separate pile.
  5. Shred and compost leaves. If you rake up your autumn leaves, don't bag them for the trash collection - try composting them instead. If you have access to a chipper or shredder, shredding them helps them break down more quickly.
  6. Prune shrubs that require fall pruning. Not all shrubs need pruning in the fall. Some prefer spring. Check a good plant guide or horticultural resource before hacking away at your favorite plants!
  7. Move plants you want to save indoors. Remember to repot them and thoroughly inspect them so you don't bring insects and other critters inside. Geraniums and several other annuals can be saved from year to year by moving them indoors if you give them plenty of light and water.
  8. Bring pots, especially terra cotta, stone and ceramic pots, inside. Wash all pots thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Then bring them into the shed or garage. Don't leave them outdoors during the winter. Moisture and subsequent freezing and thawing will crack them.
  9. Move garden ornaments and patio furniture indoors. If you can't move garden ornaments such as statuary or heavy concrete benches or planters, consider wrapping them to prevent moisture, snow and ice damage. Bird baths should also be empties, cleaned and stored.
  10. Clean and store your garden tools. All hand tools should be washed, disinfected in a solution of water and bleach, rinses, dried and stored properly. Gasoline-powered tools should be stored and cleaned according to the manufacturers' directions. Now's the time to bring lawn mower and other blades in to be sharpened; demand is low, and your tools will be clean, sharp and ready to use in the spring!
  • And don't forget to hang up those bird feeders now - or make a bird feeder!

Source

Plan Next Year's Garden Now

Before you forget your gardening successes and failures, now's the time to log them in your gardening journal. If you don't keep a formal gardening journal, just write up your notes and store them where you'll find them. Write down what worked well and what didn't, and what plants you hope to acquire and try next year. Now's the time to jot down a quick garden sketch and note where you planted those spring bulbs, too. Nothing is worse than happily digging in the spring garden to plant a few pansies, only to realize you've dug up your prize tulips bulbs!

Take steps now to organize, clean, and prepare your garden for the winter. When spring returns, you'll be ready to grow a gorgeous organic garden.

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Donna Sundblad profile image

      Donna Sundblad 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub. Voted up and useful. One year I left of my favorite ceramic pots outside and I lost it--cracked big time.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)