Your Autumn Gardening Checklist

autumn gardening

Gardening isn't only a spring and summer hobby.

There are many things to do in fall, and getting up to speed on your autumn gardening will get you prepared for winter and next year's gardening season.

Flowering isn't Over Yet

Just because it's autumn doesn't mean you have put away the gardening tools. There are many things you can be doing this time of year to spruce up your garden. Continue reading for your autumn gardening checklist of ideas. In fact, at this time of the year, you can enjoy working in the crisp, clear air and a sunny day without the heat of the day.

To keep track of what you are doing in the garden, you might like to Click and Print he free Plant Notes Printable Page.

Autumn is the time when many plants begin to shut down in preparation for winter. Not all plants are similar though. You can plant trees and shrubs, usually found on sale at your local gardening store, this time of year.

You can also design your garden to bloom year-round. Perennials like chrysanthemums and asters can be planted and will bloom in the autumn. By planting other flowers like crocuses and tulips this fall, you'll enjoy a late summer, early fall bloom next year just as your other flowers and plants begin to wilt.

Remember to water these plants until the frost and cover them with a hearty layer of mulch for protection. If there are squirrels or other flower loving rodents around cover your garden with chicken wire to keep them out.

Garlic is another great plant to get in the ground this time of year. Plant individual cloves in a sunny area 8 centimetres deep and 15 centimetres apart and cover with a thick layer of mulch. Late fall is the best time to plant garlic.

Bring in the Harvest

It's time to harvest what's left of your garden.

Pull up carrots, potatoes, onions, and squash left in the garden. Many will store for a long time in a cellar-type room that is cool and dark, but dry. 

Mulch and Compost

Rake up all those autumn leaves or mulch them with your mower. Decomposed leaves contain a lot of nutrients for your garden. Spread a layer out over your garden, tree and shrub bases and new plants. Smaller deciduous leaves like those from gingko and beech are the best.

Now is also the time to give your garden a makeover. Prune off diseased leaves from flowers and other plants and dispose of them in the garbage where they won't spread further to the rest of your plant or other plants.

Autumn is a good time to start building your compost for next spring. Compost bins are available in a variety of sizes and forms, plastic or wooden, and contain lots of good nutrients for your garden. Throw in leaves, grass clippings and organic food scraps.

Collect Seeds

Instead of having to go and buy a whole new round of seeds next year, start collecting your own! Most seeds can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator, though be sure to check.

Here is a guide to storing seeds. Remember to keep them out of the sun.

You can also plant seeds this time of year, as crazy as that may sound. Tough annuals like poppies and cosmos can be planted in the autumn where they will wait under the snow until spring to start growing.

Pay Attention to your Perennials

You can plant spring and summer flowering perennials in the fall. Make sure you do it around six to eight weeks ahead of frost so that the roots form. Cover with a good layer of leaves and evergreen clippings to protect further from frost.

Autumn is also a time to divide any overgrown perennials in your garden. You'll need a sharp shovel to cut directly into them and be sure to replant them right away or they'll wilt.

Take in Your Tools

If you're like many gardeners winter is a time of lost gardening tools. Remember to do a sweep around your garden, clean and store everything in one spot for easy finding come spring. If you experience severe winters, remember to take in your garden hoses as well, as you will find that it is not kind to them and they'll likely be no good come spring if left out all season.

Once you've completed your autumn gardening checklist it's time to get ready for hibernation, and a bounty of tasty produce harvested right from your own garden! Cozy up with a few novels and gardening magazines and you'll get a refreshing break in time for next year.