Gardeners are all getting ready for Autumn Garden chores that must be done now before Old Man Winter makes his presence known.
The end of September and the beginning of October are great times to be in the garden. The weather is a little cooler and working outdoors is a great way to pass the time. There are so many things that are still blooming and yet, there is that risk of frost in the air. So it’s time to enjoy what you can and get to work on those things that will be finished once Mr. Frost has his day. Keep reading there are lots of Autumn Garden Tips to follow!
Autumn/Fall Garden Plants & Vegetables
Taking care of these are first on the list of things to do in the garden. It’s time to dig up the carrots, beets, rutabagas, turnips, celery roots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and a few more exotic vegetables like daikon and yucca. All of these root vegetables will suffer greatly if they are left in the garden after a heavy frost, so it’s better to grab them now while the sun is still shining. The only root that does well with a frost and is planted in the fall is garlic bulbs. When this years garden is cleaned up, you can certainly get out there and plant some garlic for next year and they will taste even better than if you only plant them in the spring.
It’s also time to pick the vine vegetables you may have planted. Pumpkins, squash of every kind and all the tomatoes that haven’t yet ripened on the stems. Take the green tomatoes and sit them on a sunny windowsill and they will ripen. If they get frosted, they will turn into a mush you really don’t want to deal with.
These are the first of the fall garden chores to take care of. Keep Reading there’s more to follow.
Autumn and Fall Flowers in the Garden
It’s not time to give up on the flowers in the garden yet. Autumn garden plants are just getting started. There is a whole bunch of color that is still trying it’s best to reach the peak of perfection. Sunflowers, Monkshood, Chinese Lanterns, Michaelmas Daisies, Pansy, Celosia and Chrysanthemums are just starting to put on their nicest show. Take the time to enjoy them, and while you are at it, you can start to pull out the other annuals and trim back the perennials that have finished their bloom cycle. If you do a little bit at a time, you can enjoy and admire all the blooming goodness that is still there. Before the frost hits, let these autumn garden plants give you the pleasure of their beauty and color. There will be time still to cut these back even if a frost hits. It will be white soon enough!
Hopefully you have some of these planted already, but if not, there are many places to buy potted plants to add that touch of color in the garden. Check out your local garden center or corner variety store. Everyone sells mums in the fall. One other plant that is just coming into it’s height of beauty is the flowering cabbage. In my zone 6 garden these beauties will even look beautiful under a blanket of snow. They keep their color some years right into January or February, when it’s time to start dreaming of the next garden.
Overall Fall Gardening Chores All Around the Home!
Once you are into a groove of fall gardening chores, you can pace yourself to the habits of the trees and gardens around you. Your garden tools will be used extensively during the fall! Don’t forget you need a great rake and some compost bins to collect all the organic debris from your garden. Mulch for next year will be a great additive to the soil. You can find great tools at your local hardware store or on Amazon! There’s a great selection right here and they deliver too:
Leaf collection is of utmost importance. Leaves left on grass can actually do harm. It’s much better to gather them and compost them. Dead annuals make great compost additions too. Anything that was growing in your garden, vegetables greens, peels, dead flower stalks (not too woody), will all decompose. Just add them to your compost bin. When you are adding greens, make sure you layer them with shredded paper and add a layer of soil too. Make your layers fairly even and the decomposition will happen faster. Your compost bin will also be a great over wintering spot for worms. Compost bins even in the dead of winter give off heat. The worms will be toasty warm through the cold months. You will be so happy in the springtime.
Bird Feeders need attention too!
Once the fall has really set in, migratory birds will be gone. The need for those “syrup type” feeders will be over. Take them down and replace them with feeders made for seeds and nuts. The winter birds will be thrilled that you are welcoming them back. The feeders should be filled with the things they need for their cold stay. Suet feeders are also a wonderful thing to start putting out. Give the birds a chance to find their food before the temperatures drop to below freezing.
If you want to know more about feeding the birds, check out this article. The information is still all viable for this years winter visitors!