Fall is sweet relief after a long, hot summer. Blue skies, cooler temperatures and a change in the air make crisp autumn days the best for gardening. Any garden chores you complete in fall will save your aching muscles come spring.
Do some of the following tasks now and get a jump-start for spring.
Five Work-Saving Steps:
- Test your soil. Incorporate soil amendments and organic matter as needed. It takes up to six months for some amendments to benefit the soil and your plants.
- Cut back perennials and remove any dead foliage after the first freeze.
- Rake leaves and shred them with a mulching lawn mower and bagging attachment. Then, top garden soil with shredded leaves, or pile them into a compost pile to be used in spring. Shredded leaves make for healthier soil and encourage earthworm activity.
- Spray herbicide on weeds now to keep cool-weather weeds in check. If you pull weeds by hand, hold where their stems meet the soil and pull straight up, removing the entire root system. Don’t put weeds with seeds in the compost pile.
- Plant trees, shrubs and spring-blooming bulbs. Fall is the perfect time for all three to settle in and grow. Whenever temperatures are above 40 degrees, plants’ roots are growing.
Wait to prune shrubs and trees until spring. Pruning trees and shrubs signals to them that they should start growing again.