Things to Do Before Winter – Fall Yard Checklist


If you have a yard, vegetable garden or flower beds, there’s a lot to do before the onset of winter.

And while the odd thing can sometimes be deferred to spring, you can miss out on some garden TLC and starter seeds for next year’s garden.

Here’s a List of Things to do in the Fall:

  • Pick the dried seeds from your favorite annuals for planting next year.  Seeds must be fully dried. Locate the seed pods on the spent plant and transfer its seeds to a small bag or container. Remember to label them. Read more about gathering flower seeds.
  • If you have a vegetable garden, it should be cleaned of dried plants and the soil either turned over or tilled with a rototiller. We like to also add some manure fertilizer on top of the tilled soil. The nutrients will leach into the soil over the winter to replenish it. In the spring, we’ll add another round of fertilizer and till it again.
  • Clean out flower beds by removing the dried up annuals, leaves and twigs and discarding. Leave perennials intact.  It’s easier to locate these returning flowers next spring and you can clean them out at that time. New growth will be easier to spot.
  • Cover delicate flowers with leaves or mulch to protect from winter cold.
  • Cover non-hardy bushes and roses by wrapping with burlap. Burlap can be found at most garden centers or hardware retailers.
  • Bring indoors plants that can winter inside such as geraniums. Cut them down partially.  They can be returned to the beds next spring. Read more…
  • Dig up flower bulbs that are not hardy. Note that not all flower bulbs need to winter inside. Tulips, daffodils and crocuses should be left in the ground, but gladiolas and some other varieties have to winter indoors in cold climates. Dry and keep them in peat moss.
  • Relocate any paint cans, stains or sprays from unheated sheds or garage to protect from freezing.
  • Store lawn furniture to reduce the exposure to UV rays over the winter.
  • Protect the RV or camper plumbing from freezing.
  • Rake and pick-up fallen leaves and twigs. This task is easier to do in the fall rather than spring. In the spring, old leaves on the ground stay wet or frozen a long time, making it difficult for new grass to pop up. Note that even if you clean the yard in the fall, you often have to do another clean-up in the spring as well.
  • Gather water hoses and hang to empty of water or blow out lines if left on the ground.
  • Cover the barbecue or store.
  • Since there’s often more windstorms in winter, secure items that could be damaged.

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