Fall Gardening Checklist
Fall planting and maintenance are key elements in a thriving landscape. Trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs planted in fall will give a glorious display of color beginning the next spring. Lawns maintained through the fall will be lush and green late into winter and reappear early in spring. And fall-blooming plants such as mums, pansies, and flowering cabbage are an easy way to add dynamic color in celebration of the changing seasons.
FALL CHECKLIST (September & October)
Lawn & Garden
- Apply the last application of lawn fertilizer to cool-season grasses while grass is still green.
- Sow grass seed in bald lawn spots.
- Mow your lawn down to 1.5” to 2” with a catcher to prevent powdery mildew.
- Empty & clean container gardens & patio pots.
- Harvest and dry herbs; cut in the morning for best flavor.
- Bring your houseplants inside as the nights grow cooler. Ensure that they receive enough light as the hour and sun angle changes. Use a systemic so they don’t bring pests and disease inside with them.
Trees, Shrubs & Perennials
- Keep deep-watering perennials, trees, and shrubs but stop fertilizing. Now is a great time to plant, using root stimulator and plenty of water.
- Add mulch to all flower beds, and around the base of roses, trees and shrubs.
- Cut back perennials as they bloom and go dormant.
- Prune summer and fall blooming trees and shrubs when they go dormant. Avoid pruning spring bloomers, as they have already set buds for next year’s blossoms.
- Wrap young or smooth-barked trees with tree wrap, starting at the base and moving up.
- Top-prune rose canes to remove heaviness that may break in a wet snow.
- Mound mulch around the base of roses.
- Take tropical pond plants out of the pond, and move the hardy plants to a depth of 3’ or greater.
- Remove debris from ponds and cut back on feeding fish.
- Dig up summer bulbs (dahlias, gladiolas, etc) as they die back and cut stems off. Dust with “Dusting Sulfur” and store in a cool, dry and dark location.
- Plant spring blooming bulbs! Don’t forget to use Bulb Food or Bone Meal when planting, and water-in well.