9 Ways to Maintain Your Garden This Fall
1. Keep Gutters Free of Leaves
To cut back on gutter-cleaning duty, consider installing aluminum, foam, or vinyl gutter guards that help block debris from entering while allowing water to drain. Remember that nothing is foolproof, so look for models that can be removed for periodic cleanings.
2. Clean Pots
Scour pots with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse. Try to find one with a solid-wood handle and palm fibers.
3. Stack Pots
Once clean, turn your terra-cotta pots upside down to prevent them from filling with water, freezing, and cracking. Stack them to save on space
4. Cover Plants
To keep hardy container container gardens, such as these succulents, from freezing, cover them with a tarp. Be sure to bring delicate potted plants inside.
5. Stow Hoses
Don’t let your garden hose spring a leak! Empty it of water and keep it safe from the elements. (Remember to turn off outdoor water sources.) A hose pot or storage bench helps keep it neat.
6. Put Leaves to Work in the Garden
Autumn leaves are the best mulch for vegetable and flower gardens. They stifle weeds, retain moisture, and enrich the soil. Gather as many as you can this fall, and stash them until spring. You can also add organic fertilizer and turn the soil in your beds to ease the workload come springtime. Then clean and lightly oil your tools, and store them in a garage to prevent rust.
7. Store Garden Tools in One Place
Isolate space in the garage or a separate structure, such as a shed, to hold tools, pots, and soil amendments. Cleaning and stowing tools in one place saves precious time when the busy spring season begins.
8. Divide Bulbs
In early fall, after the flowers have gone and foliage has yellowed, divide lilies. A garden fork makes it easy to dig up the root ball without damaging the roots. Divide and replant immediately. Share extras with friends.
9. Protect Patio Furniture
Find a lightweight, woven polyester furniture cover to keep water out while still letting air circulate. Conversely, a heavy-duty polyester design will help prevent furniture from cracking in extreme temperatures.