Here in Pennsylvania, fall is a wonderful time. It’s probably my favorite season. The temperatures are moderate during the day and the cool nights make for wonderful sleeping weather.
Fall is a also a great time to prepare for spring! You see there are so many things going on in the garden in the spring, that it’s almost too much to get done. And while spring is a really inspiring time to start new things in the garden, fall is actually a better time for certain garden tasks.
If you are still looking to enjoy working in your garden, but aren’t sure where to start (especially if you live in a climate where colder temperatures are fast approaching) here are 5 Fall Projects that you can do in the fall to make spring gardening season a lot easier. And a few of these are actually best done in the fall rather than the spring.
1. Create a New Garden Bed: Fall is a great time to prepare an area for a new bed. Check out my previous blog post on exactly how to do this: The Fast and Easy Way to Create a New Garden Bed. Prepping the bed now allows the nutrients you add to really get into the soil. And the bed will be ready for you to do the fun, creative part of this process – planting your plants.
2. Plant New Shrubs and Perennials: The "Fall is for Planting" signs you see around garden centers are not just part of a marketing ploy so that shops can get more sales before winter hits. Fall truly is the best time to plant new trees, shrubs and perennials. Why? Because in the spring the plants are putting their energy into producing more foliage, flowers, and seeds. In the fall, as the plants hunker down for winter, all of the energy goes into the roots. By planting in the fall, you give the plants their best chance to get established. So get creative, pickup those plants you’ve been meaning to plant and just did not get the chance to in the spring. Talk to your local nurseryman about the best soil amendments for your choices and be sure to keep the newly planted plants well-watered.
3. Divide Perennials: One of my favorite things about perennials is that many of them ‘make more’. Dig them up, divide them at the root ball and either add them to other areas of your yard or share them with friends! Fall is great time to do this for the same reason as planting new plants – it gives the perennials time to establish their root systems before needing to put more energy into foliage and flower growth. Check on-line to see which of your perennials will benefit from division and how to divide each one.
4. Plant Bulbs for Early Spring Color: Bulbs need to be planted in the fall in order to be ready to show off their colors in the spring. Like all other plants, some bulbs do better in shade and some do better in spring. Check each bulb’s soil depth requirements and be sure to follow them. Bulbs give the most impact when planted en mass. If you’ve never planted them before, pick a small area in your garden and then visit your local garden center and ask for help in picking out a variety that should work well for your site. Then buy 10-12 bulbs and plant them in a grouping and see how you like the effect.
5. Install a Soaker Hose: Watering can be a real chore in the summer, especially if you have a newly planted area. One of the best ways to save time and save water is to install a soaker hose in new beds and around new plantings. Check out my previous post on how to do this here: Spending Too Much Time Watering. A few years back, I had a professional landscaping company do a new project in my front yard. One of the things I required was that they install soaker hose for me. Then I could simply walk out to my front porch, hook the soaker hose to my hose bid, turn on the water and come back an hour later knowing that my new plants were getting the water they needed. I did not lose any of my plants and I attribute the success of this project to my soaker hose.
~Shameless plug: To help you with these projects our Garden Tool Set is a very sturdy set of hand tools that includes a transplanter with depth markings to help with planting those bulbs and a trowel to help dig and divide those perennials. If you are installing a soaker hose our Landscape Staples will provide a secure way to hold the hose in place. You can order both of them from our secure site here.
I hope that you find time to continue to enjoy your garden through the fall and that by doing some of these projects, you get a jump on spring!
Comment Below and Fill Us in on Your Favorite Fall Gardening Project!