Fall Gardening Tips

Advice to get the Garden Ready for Winter

fall gardening tips pumpkin

Follow these Fall gardening Tips now to help improve your garden, and get it in good shape for the Spring.

Fall is a good time to step back, and take a good look at your garden. Decide what worked and what didn't. Did the plants perform to your expectations? Were the colors to your liking? Did the plant colors blend together as you wanted? If not,now would be a good time to move things around, and maybe remove any plants not up to your liking.

Fall is the perfect time to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees. You must be sure to keep them well watered, to give the roots time to become established before winter.

This is such a nice time to be out in the garden. The weather is much cooler, and there are few bugs to pester you! And if you live in a northern state like mine, the foliage is soo... pretty!

Fall is also a great time to buy from Nurseries. Not only is it a good time for planting perennials and companion plants,....the nurseries have terrific sales!

Keep reading for some great gardening advice for your Fall gardening, and what to do in the Autumn garden.

Fall Pruning

Fall is not the best time to prune Shrubs. This is best done in the Spring. Pruning encourages new growth that is easily damaged in winter. Some shrubs form flower buds for the next season, so pruning now, will remove next years flowers! Woody perennial shrubs such as Forsythia, Lilac,and Butterfly Bush, should be pruned in Spring.

Fall Gardening tips for Rose Gardens

leaves of knockout rose bush

Do Not cut back your roses! Let them set hips. This signals the plants to begin dormancy, in readiness for winter.

Don't let the hips go to waste! Learn how to make Rose Hip Tea  with this easy recipe. Rose hips are very good for you, (full of vitamin C).

Roses grow very well in the fall,with the cooler weather. Notice the nice purple/red leaves on my Knockout Roses And all the new buds? These roses just keep on going! It takes a few killing frosts to get them to stop flowering. If you want carefree roses with lots of flower power, consider adding any of the Knock out series of roses to your garden.

The best Fall gardening tips for roses, is to keep watering them, if they don't get enough rain. You want to keep them well hydrated before they go dormant.

Don't fertilize! Never add fertilizer late in the season, it encourages growth that will be winter killed.

If you live in one of the colder climates, you might want to give your roses some extra winter protection by mounding soil, or pine boughs up around them.

If your rose plants had blackspot, be sure to clean up all those infected leaves (even the ones on the ground) and dispose of them. (Not in the compost pile)

Cutting Back Perennials

Now is the time to get the garden cleaned up and ready for winter. The norm is to cut back perennials, discarding the plants in the compost pile.

If you like the look of the perennial seed heads,leave some until spring. They will supply food for the feathered friends of the garden. Keep in mind, that leaving the seeds on the plants, will cause them to self-sow, giving you some new plants for next year.(Plant them elsewhere, give them to friends/neighbors, or sell them) If you do cut back the plants, cut them a few inches from the ground.

You should Divide perennials that bloom in the Spring and summer.


Once you get the garden cleaned up, (remember you don't have to remove every single leaf from the bed.) As a matter of fact, leaving a few leaves mounded on the perennials will help to protect them. Fall is a good time to apply a layer of mulch around the plants. When the snow is melted, your garden will look "picture perfect".

Improving the Soil

Does your soil need a little help? Prepare the soil with organic conditioners. Soil conditioners must be thoroughly blended into the soil. Till the soil with a garden spade, fork or roto-tiller.

Tip Mowing the lawn in the fall creates a nice mix of grass clippings and shredded leaves. This is a great soil conditioner! Blend this, along with some compost into the garden, till and rake smooth.

Fall Gardening Tips for Existing Beds:

Does your soil need some help? If your plants are not performing like they once did, you might need to improve the soil.

Break up the soil about 2-3 inches around the plants, spread soil conditioners, such as compost on the top of the garden. Using the garden fork, evenly blend into the soil. Level the soil with a rake, first in one direction, then the other. Replace mulch, and water.

Dig Tender Plants

Fall is the time to remove any tender plants that you have in the ground. These include Gladiolus, Cannas, Dahalias, and Begonias. They can all be saved to replant next year. Store them in dry peat moss or vermiculite. Replant in the Spring for another season of blooms.

Bring in House Plants

Any house plants that have vacationed outside for the Summer, should be brought back inside. Get them in before the temperatures dip below 55 degrees. Be sure to check them for pests before bringing them in.

Wild Bird Care Fall Gardening Tips

Continue to fill the bird feeders, and keep the bird baths filled with clean water for birds that might stop in on their migration South. They have a long flight, so help them by providing food and water.

Many, like the hummingbirds, follow the same yearly path, so if your garden is on the stop, don't disappoint them.

Plant Spring Bulbs

Fall gardening tips to insure Spring flowers: Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Crocus,(all the lovely Spring flowering bulbs) need to be planted in the fall.

Pay attention to the bloom time of the bulbs you choose, to assure the color combinations you want. By planting "Early Blooming", "Mid-season", and "Late Blooming" you can have something blooming all Spring, and into Summer!

Click on the "Direct Gardening Banner" on the bottom of this page for some good buys on Spring Flowering Bulbs. Plants such as Peonies, Iris, and Lilies are best planted in the Fall. It is also a good time to divide these plants. every few years, it's a good idea to divide these plants to keep them performing at their best.

Remember to keep watering you're newly moved plants. If the roots don't get water, they can't get established in their new spot.

Plants that go into the winter season well hydrated, fair better through this time. Also mulch them well.

Make New Beds

Now is the perfect time to dig a new bed. Dig the bed to a depth of one foot. Add soil amendments, and dig in deeply. Rake out, breaking up any clumps. Water to settle the soil. This garden will be ready to plant in Spring.

Click the banner below for some great buys on plants for your garden!

Check the great prices at DirectGardening.com

Fall can be a very busy time in the garden, getting things cut back, cleaning up, and getting ready for the winter months.

I hope you can benefit by some of my Fall gardening tips!

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