Fall Cleanup in the Garden

Don’t put away your gardening tools yet! Fall is one of the best seasons for accomplishing many tasks, and right now is the best time to prepare for next spring.

  • Until the first frost, many plants should still be producing a harvest!  Plan accordingly in late summer for a continuous late fall harvest.  This is a great time for harvesting cool weather crops such as lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, cabbage, swiss chard, fennel, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choi, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, artichokes, beets, potatoes, radishes, turnips, cilantro, parsley, and celery.
There are still plenty of vegetables to harvest in the cool fall weather!  (photo credit:http://www.underwoodgardens.com/local-food-growing-your-own/how-to-plan-for-fall-and-winter-gardening/)
There are still plenty of vegetables to harvest in the cool fall weather! (photo credit: http://www.underwoodgardens.com/local-food-growing-your-own/how-to-plan-for-fall-and-winter-gardening/)
  • Some veggies, like brussel sprouts and carrots actually taste less bitter if harvested after the first frost!
  • If you want some temporary color in the garden, plant some frost resistant annual flowers like pansies, mums, ornamental cabbages, and asters.  Dahlia’s are also frost resistant and put on a beautiful late fall show of color.
  • Teach delayed gratification by planting spring bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, or crocuses.
  • Now is also one of the best times to plant any new perennials and shrubs, since the not-too-hot, not-too-cold weather will ease the transition of settling into new dirt.
  • Divide and transplant plants like hostas, lilies, and irises.  Here are some fantastic tips for dividing plants and keeping them healthy:  http://www.finegardening.com/10-tips-dividing-perennial-plants
  • Decorate terra cotta planters with gourds from the garden:
  • Decorate terra cotta planters with gourds this fall (photo credit:  http://www.bhg.com/halloween/outdoor-decorations/fall-outdoor-decorating-from-halloween-to-thanksgiving/)
    Decorate terra cotta planters with gourds this fall (photo credit: http://www.bhg.com/halloween/outdoor-decorations/fall-outdoor-decorating-from-halloween-to-thanksgiving/)
  • Collect seeds from any plants that have bolted for planting next year.

    Be sure to collect seeds from any plants that bolted into flower, like this broccoli plant.
    Be sure to collect seeds from any plants that bolted into flower, like this broccoli plant. (photo credit: jengod athttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Broccoli_flowers_2525385935_e13d4de4c4_b.jpg)
  • Once the first frost happens, cut down any stalks left in the garden in order to compost them (except ornamental grasses).
  • Dig out any tender plants to bring indoors, such as dahlias or cannas.  Also, bring any terra cotta planters inside.
  • Around thanksgiving, prune yews and pine trees and use the clipping to decorate any empty beds or planters.
  • Finally, ready your tools for next spring by cleaning, sharpening, and oiling them all.
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