Garden plants are taking cues – shorter days and cooler temperatures mean fall is approaching.  Sometimes it is hard to convince yourself to work in the garden after a long hot summer of pulling weeds, but fall garden care is important for a healthy spring garden.

Get motivated and take advantage of cool fall days to finish up your garden checklist before the first frost.  Here are a few garden chores you should consider doing now.

  1. Plant bulbs (including garlic)

Spring blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths require long, cool periods of dormancy and are best planted in the fall before the ground freezes. Planting now allows plants an early jump start in the spring. Garlic (a bulb) should also be planted from late September to November. Garlic needs lots of top growth in order to develop large bulbs for harvesting and this can only happen if it gets good root development in the fall and an early start come spring.

Marked garlic in garden

  1. Attend a plant auction or sale

Fall is the best time to plant a tree or add a perennial to the landscape. And what makes it an even better time to plant is that many nurseries and big box stores have reduced their prices on these items. Often they don’t want to over-winter plants and are looking to clear shelf space for the next season’s inventory, making it so you can find great deals.

Shopping at a Nursery

  1. Take notes

As the season winds down, jot down successes and failures of the growing season. Keep track of where you planted things with a detailed map of crops and planting beds. This will make practicing crop rotation easy next spring. Take time to reflect on which varieties to order again and which ones did not meet your expectations.

person taking notes outside

  1. Amend the soil

Add organic matter and repair garden beds. For more details read our blog post from last November.

5 reasons to amend garden soil

  1. Adjust irrigation amounts and prepare for winter

Adjust irrigation systems to meet the needs of cooler temperature. Check the forecast and make sure to blow out drip lines and other irrigation lines before they freeze.

drip irrigation in garden

For even more tips, read our post from last September – Top 10 Tips for Fall.