Cool temps means it is time to get out in the garden!  Even though the first snowflakes have fallen there are still some fall garden tasks to tackle before we really see what winter is about. Here is a list of tasks you can accomplish while the leaves are still falling.  Not interested in DIY?  Sargent’s Garden Care crews can complete your fall clean-up for you!.


  • 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.
  • If you can, 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 Buy 1, Get 1 FREE.  Pick some up and plant before the ground freezes.