Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist

  1. Leaf Removal:
    • Rake and compost leaves, but discard those from diseased plants.
  2. Perennials:
    • After the first frost, cut back dead foliage to discourage pests.
    • Divide and replant perennials that have become too large or unproductive.
    • Clearly mark perennial locations for future reference.
  3. Annuals:
    • Once killed by frost, remove and compost non-diseased annuals.
  4. Lawn Care:
    • Continue mowing until growth slows.
    • Fertilize the lawn in early fall for root growth.
    • Address any thatch or aeration needs.
  5. Trees & Shrubs:
    • Prune dead or damaged branches, but save major pruning for late winter.
    • Water newly planted or young trees and shrubs deeply until the ground freezes.
  6. Bulbs:
    • October is a prime time for planting spring-blooming bulbs in Connecticut.
    • Remove and store non-hardy bulbs after the first frost.
  7. Vegetable Garden:
    • Harvest remaining crops before threatening frosts.
    • Remove any plant debris to minimize pests and disease.
    • Plant garlic for a summer harvest.
  8. Garden Tools & Equipment:
    • Clean, sharpen, and store tools to prevent rust.
    • Service power equipment before winter storage.
  9. Compost:
    • Turn and moisten the compost pile, adding layers of fallen leaves.
  10. Mulching:
    • In late fall, add a protective mulch layer to perennial beds, using straw or chopped leaves. This can prevent freeze-thaw cycles that damage plant roots.
  11. Garden Structures:
    • Check and repair raised beds, trellises, and fences. Prepare them for winter snow loads.
  12. Water Features:
    • Remove and store pumps. Winterize any water features to prevent damage from ice.
  13. Protection:
    • Wrap young or sensitive trees and shrubs with burlap or tree guards to protect against winter wind, sun, and deer.
  14. Planning for Next Year:
    • Reflect on this year’s successes and challenges. Begin planning and ordering for next spring.

As with any generalized advice, it’s always good to check with local experts. Town & Country Nurseries might have specific recommendations based on the current year’s conditions and trends.