Autumn Garden To-Do List



Before the first “hard” frost (~25°F)

  • Dig up tender bulbs such as dahlias and non-winter-hardy plants for winter storage.
  • Bring inside all frost/freeze-tender potted plants, after treating for insect problems.
  • Pull-up, shake out and bring to the compost pile all vegetable and herb debris killed by frost and weeds.
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs.
  • Clean up and level garden beds and mix-in compost for next year.
  • Cut back spent perennials. Leave grasses untouched for winter interest and cut back in early spring or, if preferred, cut back now to approximately 6 inches.
  • Remove, clean and store away re-usable plant supports and containers.
  • Gather and discard leftover labels, plant tie-ups and non-biodegradables.
  • Clean tools to prevent rusting over the winter and prolong their useful life.
  • Jot down observations from this year to help recall later what you have learned this season to make next year more successful.
  • Drain and coil hoses before they freeze. Store in garage, shed or basement.
  • Drain exterior faucets.
  • Rake leaves off lawns before they mat-down and damage the grass. Shredded leaves can go in the compost pile or can be used as mulch around trees and shrubs.

Now, until the ground freezes: 

  • Plant or transplant trees and shrubs (and maintain soil moisture!).
  • Divide and transplant most perennials, like peonies and daylilies.
  • Plant garlic and shallots for next year.
  • Assure soil around plants newly installed this year is adequately moist.

Share this post

Plant Notes

Perennials for July Color

By the time July comes around summer is in full swing, and the choice of perennials that could be highlighted is large, so to compile a short list means I

Read More »

Pollinator’s World

June is pollinator month in Massachusetts and the third week in June is also National Pollinator Week.  Making a space that is pollinator friendly can involve planting a variety of

Read More »
Teams Image
Plant Notes

Women Horticulturists

By Catherine Cooper While many famous names in horticulture belong to men, throughout the centuries there have been many women who have made notable contributions to the various fields of

Read More »