That first nip of crisp autumn air is right around the corner and for gardeners it means it's time to prep the flowerbeds for the cooler months. Here are five tasks you can get started on right now to make sure all your plants come back happy and strong next spring.
- Now is the best time to plant bulbs for spring blooms. If you're in an area prone to frost, make sure to get bulbs in the ground before the ground freezes. Aim to have things planted before mid-October to be on the safe side. Dig up bulbs that aren't winter-hardy and store in a cool, dry place.
- As the leaves start to fall, rake them into a pile for composting. Don't rake leaves directly into garden beds, which may suffocate young plants. Instead, wait for leaves to compost and then spread onto your garden to give plants a boost of nutrition during the winter months.
- Check plants for any disease or rot. Trim and dispose of diseased-looking foliage. If left over winter, disease can spread to other plants the following growing season.
- Prune back any perennials that are done for the season. Plants that still have green on them can be left alone for the winter. Make migrating birds happy by leaving perennials with seedpods for a tasty treat.
- Along with pruning, now is the perfect time to divide dormant perennials that have gotten too large or crowded. Plant them in a different area of the garden or save them as holiday gifts for fellow gardeners!
Check these to-dos off your list so you and (your garden!) can enjoy the gorgeous fall weather knowing your plants are safe and sound until next spring!