You know what it’s like: springtime hits, and your yard seems stuck in a case of the winter “blahs.” Then you remember all the things you forgot to do in October and November that could have prevented this funk. If you want your yard and garden looking great early in the spring, you’ve got to prepare it for the cold, wet weather before it comes. Before the snow flies, here are some fall gardening chores that need to be on your must-do list.
1. Skip (Some of) the Leaves
If you have (or your neighbor has) a lot of big trees, raking all those leaves in the fall can be a real pain. Well, here’s the good news: you can actually skip raking the leaves that fall on shrub areas or sturdy ground covers.Yes, you do need to get them out of your perennial flower beds and off your lawn, but those leaves can actually provide good mulch in certain areas over time.
2. Take Care of Your Tomatoes
It happens here every year. We always seem to have unripe tomatoes on the plants when the first frost looms. Before that happens, pull the tomato vines out of the ground by the roots, and hang them upside down in your garage or a dark storage room to ripen up.
3. Plant Those Bulbs
If you want new spring bulbs, the time to plant is in the fall. They need to be in the ground 6-8 weeks before the first hard frost hits your zone.
4. Get Creative With Those Extra Apples
Instead of giving them away, canning them, or making applesauce, have you ever considered making some homemade cider? You can even use some of your blemished or bruised (but still fresh) apples. Here’s how to do it.
5. Plant Fruit Trees
Fall is the best time to plant bulbs, but it’s also the ideal planting time for fruit trees. Stake the young trees to keep them from breaking or succumbing to strong winter winds.