Your Fall Garden Checklist to Prepare for Winter

Your Fall Garden Checklist to Prepare for Winter

October 3, 2022  |  Checklist, Garden, Winter
fall garden in his hands

There is a chill nip in the air, the leaves are vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, and they will soon fall to the ground. All around us our friends, neighbors, and coworkers are beginning to dress in layered clothes and thick wool coats.  


In short, the throes of Autumn are upon us.  


While the memory of your summer garden may still be fresh in your mind (you might still have some garden vegetables to enjoy!), it is time to get your garden ready for winter.  


We have put together seven garden clean-up tips designed to work with nature to reduce pests and diseases while retaining homes and food for pollinators. 


Keep reading to learn how to tend to your garden this Fall! 


Seven Tips to Winterize Your Garden This Fall 


This Fall, clean up your garden the right way using these seven tips! 


Clean Up Your Vegetable Beds 


Begin by removing all spent crops and residue. Remnants can harbor disease and carry over from this year’s crop to the next.  


This is the perfect time to weed your garden as well. Frost may kill your summer plants, but weeds can still thrive. Weed your garden now and you will have an easier time next Spring and Summer.  


Also, fork over your ground to expose grubs to the chill air and bug-eating insects.  


Finally, if you are not sowing winter crops, try sowing a winter cover crop. Alternatively, cover your garden with organic mulch. This will protect your soil from harsh winter weather and prevent more weeds from taking hold. 


Protect Any Winter Crops 


For many of us, summer gardening simply isn’t enough.  


Cool-season crops help fill the void.  


To protect these cool-season crops (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc), cover your garden with a growth cloth or cold frame to prevent them from dying during the season’s first frost.  


Root vegetables like carrots and parsnips can stay in the ground.  


Mow Your Grass 


For a healthy lawn, it is generally best to leave your grass a little bit longer during the winter season. 


For your final cut of the season, set your mower blades high. Longer blades help protect the soil and give you healthier turf.  


If you want to take it a step further, you can add your leaf litter to your soil for a more nitrogen-rich dirt plot next spring.  


Maintain Your Perennial Flowers 


Leave your plant and stems intact for as long as you can stand to look at them. These old frameworks serve as shelters for many beneficial bugs. In addition, old seed heads can be used to feed neighborhood birds. For most perennials, you don’t need to cut back until next spring.  


The exception is that you should always remove any diseased plant material from your garden. Wait until after the first hard frost, then remove the diseased plant material. 


Do not compost diseased plant materials as the diseases can linger in your compost pile. Either burn the diseased material, bury them, or get rid of them in another safe way. 


Use Your Leaves 


It’s called Fall for a reason. If you aren’t using your leaves, then you are letting one of the most valuable and free resources go to waste.  


You have two options with leaves. The first is that you can rake them off driveways and paths and leave the rest be. Or you can collect them and use them as compost.  


Natural leaf piles are great homes for helpful insects and pollinators.  


Otherwise, you can compost your leaves. Simply shred your leaves, and over time they will turn into nutrient-rich plant food.  


It works the same way as a forest floor. Next Spring, new plants will grow from the healthy layer of decomposed leaves when they are used as fertilizer. 


Plant Your Shrubs in the Fall 


Looking to add bushes or hedges to your yard? Fall is a perfect time! 


The soil is still warm, and plants have time to get established before they start a new cycle of growth in the Spring.  


Shrubs are great shelters for birds and pollinators, and berry shrubs can even produce food for local wildlife.  


Fall Bulbs Bring Spring Flowers 


If you want flowers in Spring, plant bulbs in Fall!  


Plant your bulbs in late October or early November. Large bulbs are best at eight inches deep and smaller bulbs prefer depths closer to four inches.  


Plant your bulbs in groups or by color for the best results come Spring. 


A Better Garden This Fall with Knollwood Garden Center 


Getting your garden ready for winter this fall is no easy feat. It takes planning, preparation, and a pinch of creativity.  


If you are planning on revamping your garden this Fall, then stop by Knollwood Garden Center in Beavercreek for all the best bulbs, shrubs, mulch, and more! 


When it comes to keeping your garden healthy, Knollwood Garden Center has you covered.  


If you want a better garden for this Fall and beyond, stop by Knollwood Garden Center today!