Fall is here and even though we had a peek at winter last week there are still tasks to do in the garden before you put your tools away for the season.  I love being out in the garden in the fall!  You can wear a cozy sweater, enjoy the sunshine, and not even break a sweat.


Here is a list of tasks you can accomplish while the leaves are still falling:

Toss your spent annuals or those that have been hit by frost.  Remove faded plants from the gardens and empty your annual pots.  Containers can be sanitized by cleaning with a 10% bleach solution.  Spray or soak for about 10 minutes, rinse and allow to air dry for fresh, disease free containers next spring.

Trim back any faded perennials  Consider leaving grasses, coneflowers and upright sedums for early spring pruning.  All make for nice winter interest in the garden plus the birds can enjoy the seeds.

Leave some stems for pollinators.  Many Minnesota bees and other pollinators spend the winter in the stems of plants.  Leave some cut stems about 8-10″ tall especially those of grasses, monarda and others.

Avoid pruning trees and shrubs at this time.  Fresh cuts usually don’t have enough time to heal before the drying winter winds and temps.  Save pruning for late winter or early spring for best results.  Also avoid pruning any spring flowering shrubs since the flowers have already formed and pruning now can reduce the blooms for next year.

Plant bulbs for an early pop of color in spring.  Read our latest post on Planting Bulbs for Spring to learn more.  All spring flowering bulb packs are now 25% OFF.  Pick some up and plant before the ground freezes.