Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist for Donaldson’s Greenhouse & Nursery

  1. Leaf Removal:
    • Considering the diversity of deciduous trees in the area, be prepared for a lot of leaves. Gather and compost them, ensuring that those from diseased plants are properly discarded.
  2. Perennials:
    • After the initial frost, cut back dead foliage to deter pests.
    • Split and transplant any perennials that appear overly expansive or less vigorous.
    • Label the spots where perennials are planted to facilitate spring gardening.
  3. Annuals:
    • Once they’ve been hit by frost, remove and compost healthy annuals.
  4. Lawn Care:
    • Continue mowing routines until the grass shows signs of going dormant.
    • Use a fall-appropriate fertilizer to nourish grassroots.
    • If needed, aerate compacted areas of the lawn.
  5. Trees & Shrubs:
    • Snip away any dead or weak branches, saving major pruning activities for late winter.
    • Water young or recently settled trees and shrubs generously until the ground becomes frosty.
  6. Bulbs:
    • Fall is a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring.
    • After the first frost, dig up and store bulbs that can’t withstand the cold.
  7. Vegetable Garden:
    • Harvest remaining veggies before severe frosts set in.
    • Clear out plant remains to minimize the risk of pests and diseases.
    • Now’s the time to plant garlic for a summer bounty.
  8. Garden Tools & Equipment:
    • Clean, sharpen, and store garden tools securely.
    • End-of-season maintenance is crucial for power equipment to ensure longevity.
  9. Compost:
    • Stir and layer your compost pile, incorporating the season’s fallen leaves.
  10. Mulching:
    • As the late fall sets in, cover perennial beds with insulating mulch such as straw or shredded leaves, ensuring plant roots are protected from varying freeze-thaw cycles.
  11. Garden Structures:
    • Examine and repair structures like raised beds, trellises, and barriers, ensuring they can endure winter stresses.
  12. Water Features:
    • Turn off and store water pumps, and safeguard any water features against the freezing temperatures.
  13. Protection:
    • Shield sensitive or young trees and shrubs with protective materials like burlap to ensure they endure the winter challenges.
  14. Planning for Next Year:
    • Reflect on the gardening season, noting successes and areas for enhancement. Start your preparations and perhaps order supplies for the upcoming spring.

Given the variability of local gardening conditions, it’s always advisable to consult with the knowledgeable staff at Donaldson’s Greenhouse & Nursery for bespoke recommendations based on that year’s specific conditions and challenges.