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Think of Next Spring… Fall Garden Hit List

BulbsDirtCheck off these 10 garden prep tasks and next spring, you’ll be happy you did!

Many of us “lose our steam” for gardening in the fall. Plants are in their last stages and we know that soon the frost will take our hard work away. But a few tasks completed in the fall can make your spring much more enjoyable – and give next year’s garden a boast!

  1. Whether you have a traditional or balcony garden, it’s time to clean your tools. Scrape off the dirt, wash and dry well. Spray with oil, e.g. WD-40 before you store. Great tip: Fill a bucked with coarse sand and stir in ¼ cup of motor oil. Shove all your trowels and hand garden tools in the bucket for safe and no-rust storage.
  2. Leave small leaves on your garden and lawn. Mow over large leaves and leave them so that they mulch into the soil.
  3. Plant garlic in October for next summer blooms and bulbs!
  4. Cut back perennials to dis-courage overwintering pests but leave flowers with seeds and berries on bushes for the birds.
  5. Sorry, but weed once more. The weeds you pull now greatly reduce the weeds next summer.
  6. Plant spring flowering bulbs just before the first frost (watch the weather reports). Trouble with squirrels? Sprinkle the bulbs with Cayenne pepper before planting.
  7. Take a chance on some seeds. Hardy annuals like poppies, cleome and cosmos can be sprinkled on your garden. Chances are they will be protected under the snow and get an early chance at growing next spring.
  8. Divide perennials like summer phlox, hostas and Siberian irises so you’ll have double next year (or if you don’t have space, give to a neighbour).
  9. Dig up tender bulbs such as dahlia, canna and gladiola and store in a cool dark space.
  10. Bring clay pots indoors so they don’t crack.