Fall Gardening Tips: 5 Ways to prepare for spring in October

It probably goes without saying that fall has arrived here in Ohio. There, I officially said it!

Did you know that cooler air and rain actually helps to stimulate root growth? The fall is a perfect time to plant new trees, shrubs, and annuals that are tolerant to the cold.

The good news is that October is the perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs. The trick is to plant high quality bulbs before the ground freezes.

Here are five quick tips for fall gardening that you can do right now to get a jump start on spring:

Step 1 – Clean Up

Prevent diseases for deciduous trees and shrubs by cleaning up leaves and pruning diseased (do not add to compost) stems of perennials such as Day lilies, Corydalis, Bearded Iris, and Bronze Fennel. Unless already dead, most flowers will make it until the first frost. You will learn what works best for your plants when putting your garden to bed.

Step 2 – Water

Woody plans need moisture in the soil in the fall to survive winter. If it has been a dry summer try to water once a week through the end of October.

Step 3 – Fertilize

Just like a bear needs to eat before hibernating so do plants. Fertilizing in the fall will not promote late season growth but will actually help support growth in the spring.

Step 4 – Mulch

Plants need blankets too! Adding 3-4 inches of mulch around plants act as a buffer when temperatures fluctuate.

Step 5 – Prune

Late fall and early spring are the best times to prune trees and shrubs for many reasons. For example, it’s easier to see what needs pruned after the leaves fall plus there are less insects and diseases that trees and shrubs are prone to.

Bonus Tip Step 6: Plant

Planting trees and shrubs in the fall is actually good with the cooler temps and higher amount of rainfall. Why? The cooler air is less of a shock on the planting process and the soil gives them a chance to spread roots.

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If you know of any more fall gardening tips that weren’t covered here, make sure to leave a comment below so others will have the best advice. It may be just what they need to keep their garden beds intact for the spring.

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