Getting Your Garden Ready for Fall
It’s that time of year again when the weather starts cooling down and the days get shorter. With the summer coming to a close, it’s time to start getting your garden ready for fall. Although we’re a patio furniture company, here at Patio Productions, we know a thing or two about gardening and lawn care. We like to embrace the cooler weather because we can actually get outdoor chores done without being a sweaty mess by the end of the day. We know that the usual fall chores like raking leaves and digging things up leaves a lot to be desired, but we’re here to give you some tips that might make prepping your garden for fall a little more fun! After reading through our quick guide, it’s worth thinking about how you’re going to prep your patio for winter! It’s worth checking out our selection of patio furniture covers so your patio furniture stays in top shape for next summer.
1. Bring Fragile Plants Indoors
If you’ve got some fragile plants that have been thriving outdoors during the summer, it’s a good time to bring them inside. Depending on where you live, late September and early October can be a tumultuous time for plants. One day it’s 80 degrees and sunny and the next it’s 45 and raining. On the bright side, you can look at this as an opportunity to spend more time with your plants. They might not be too entertaining, but they’re better than nothing! We recommend trimming any dead leaves or branches and repotting with fresh soil if necessary. During the winter months, it’s best practice to keep your new roommates (your plants) in an area with bright light and moist throughout winter. If they’re tropical plants, it’s best to keep them in a cool dark place and barely moist so they can enter into dormancy.
2. Dead Plants and Summer Bulbs
It’s time to get rid of dead plants! It might be a little sad because you planted these so recently, but they must go. If you have a compost pile then we recommend throwing them in there. If the plants look deceased in any way, definitely don’t put them in a compost pile. There’s a chance that the disease could spread when using your compost in the future.
We also recommend digging up your summer bulbs! They should definitely be dug up before your first serious frost so they don’t die. You can store them in a paper bag filled with shredded newspaper in a cool, dark, dry place until the spring.
3. Plant Spring Bulbs
Now is the time to plant your bulbs for spring. The cold winter ahead of them will help them bloom when spring rolls back around. Here’s a quick rundown of planting depths:
- Daffodils: 9 inches deep
- Narcissus: 9 inches deep
- Tulips: 8 inches deep
- Hyacinths: 5 inches deep
- Crocus: 4 inches deep
4. Plant Cold Tolerant Annuals
Just because winter is creeping up on us doesn’t mean that your garden has to completely suffer! There are plenty of options that can thrive in the cold. It can also help brighten your day to see some color in the middle of winter. Here’s an awesome article from Costa Farms about the 12 annual flowers that can take the cold.
5. Cold Hardy Vegetables
Once again, your garden (and home grown meals) don’t have to suffer because it’s getting a little chilly out. There are some veggies you can plant that will do just fine in cold weather. Check out this guide from The Gardening Cook that gives you 15 cold hardy veggie options for you to plant this winter!
6. Plant Shrubs or Trees
Fall is actually a great time to plant shrubs or trees! You won’t have to worry about watering them for too long because they’ll go dormant once it starts getting cold. Once the weather starts to warm up again, your trees and shrubs will already have established roots, giving them a nice head start.
General Fall Tasks
Although this guide is mostly about gardening, we can’t just leave you high and dry when it comes to fall lawn care. The rest of these tips aren’t as gardening specific, but they are small chores that are a good idea to get done before winter rolls around!
7. Taking Care of Tools and Equipment.
It’s time to clean off shovels, rakes, hoes, trowels, and any other gardening equipment you might have. Rinsing off the dirt and grime from your tools and then thoroughly drying them will go a long way in protecting them from rusting. Additionally, applying linseed oil to all wooden handles will help keep them in great condition for when you break out the gardening gloves next spring. Lastly, double check all your tools before storing them away. If anything is broken or looks like it’s on the verge of breaking, winter is a great time to replace old tools.
When you’re out and about all summer it’s easy to let your gardening tools become a little unorganized. When you’re constantly pulling things out and putting them back, it’s tough to keep things neat and tidy. Fall is a great time to finally organize and store your gardening tools and supplies for the rest of the winter.
9. Dig New Beds
Now that it’s not a million degrees outside, (exaggeration) digging new beds for your plants is a great plan before it gets really cold outside. Manual labor in the summer is close to the top of our list of things we avoid. You’ll be able to knock it out in a day and not be a hot miserable mess by the end of it. Once it’s spring, you’ll be happy you got it done early!
10. Farmers Market
For our final tip, check out your local farmers market for great deals on fruits and veggies as the season comes to a close. We recommend this because farmers markets are also just super fun.