9 Things You Can Do in Your Garden before a Frost

Garden set up for fall frosts by Carolannie–temporaril…

Fall is a busy time of year for gardeners.  Here are 9 of the many things you can do before a frost:

1. Start planting bulbs. This is the time to plant those bulbs you want to bloom next spring- like daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, etc. You can plant bulbs until there is a hard frost. You can order them from catalogs. TheGardenLady has a number of favorite bulb catalogs.  The nice thing about catalogs is that they send you the bulbs when it is the best time to plant them in your area. But, of course, you can buy bulbs in your local stores if you prefer.

2. Build yourself or buy a compost bin if you don’t already have one.  Sometimes it is best to have at least two compost bins.  There are many instructions for building them online.

3. Rake those leaves so that pests don’t harbor over winter hidden under them. Clean away leaves especially from around your roses and any fruit trees. But please, don’t give the leaves away to your township. Put them in your own compost bin or, if you want, you can chop the leaves and make mulch to spread immediately in your garden. There are many leaf mulchers available online.

4. Pull up weeds especially those that you don’t want to set seed and cause problems. You can also get rid of dead annuals and perennials. But do think of the birds. Birds need to eat during the winter.  They need some of the plants, plant seeds and berries to survive during the winter. In fact, there is research showing that birds that forage for food have larger brains so you are helping the birds by allowing them to forage. (see here) Fall is a great time to plant some of the plants that birds like. (see here)

5. Remember too, that non-migrating butterflies need plants to overwinter. For more about these butterflies needs, read here.

6, If you are thinking of planting new trees and shrubs EARLY Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs because it allows for the best root establishment before winter.

7. Bring in any plants that you took outdoors last spring. You should clean your indoor windows for these plants to get the most sunlight. Clean the pots that were sitting outside. Check for insects or pests and treat for them, etc. For a complete list of how to do this, check here.

8. Clean off your hand tools. Oil the blades. Take sandpaper to the wooden parts and smooth them down. Sometimes those wooden handles get splinters.

9. If you have mowed for the lawn for the last time, winterize your lawn mower. For directions, read this.

More things to be done in the fall will appear in another post.

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