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Fall Garden To-Do List

Posted October 19, 2012

How to get your garden ready for winter

Even though we’ve had frost in Western Pennsylvania, there is still work to do in the garden before the winter sets in. Putting in the work now will mean much less work in the spring. Here’s a To-Do list of garden chores that should be done before the ground freezes.

  1. Harvest the last of your crops. Remove spent plants and compost them, unless they are showing signs of disease.
  2. We all know that fall is the time to plant spring bulbs, but did you know that  fall is the perfect time to plant garlic? You can also sow early crops like spinach which will be ready in the early spring when everyone else is planting.
  3. Pot up some herbs to bring indoors for the winter.
  4. Plant a cover crop. Cover crops feed the soil and help prevent weeds. Hairy vetch is one cover crop recommended for western PA.  Another common cover crop in our area is winter rye.
  5. Keep pulling weeds, especially perennial weeds. The National Gardening Association has a helpful Weed Library.
  6. Shred or mulch your leaves. Leaves are a wonderful addition to the soil and are a free resource.
  7. Now’s the time to test and amend your soil and add compost and manure for planting in early spring. The freezing and thawing will work it into the soil for you.
  8. Finally, don’t forget to clean and maintain your tools and equipment. You will thank yourself in the spring.

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