What to Read Next

Top 10 tips for autumn gardening

Cynthia Ross Cravit
September 12, 2012

Make next year's garden even more beautiful with these ten smart gardening tips.

As the temperature begins to dip, it may be tempting to take a break from gardening chores and simply let Mother Nature take its course. But with just a little effort, you can give your garden a great jump-start on spring’s blooms.

Here are 10 tips from CanadianGardening.com.

Get rid of diseased leaves. Remove any diseased leaves from flowerbeds and dispose of them in the garbage, not the compost pile. If left on the soil all winter, they will re-inoculate the plants with disease spores when spring comes around.

Spread the gold around. The small leaves from trees such as honey locust, birch, beech, ginkgo and silver maple are like gold for your garden. Spread them under shrubs and over exposed soil – the leaves will degrade into mineral nutrients, and worms will turn them into fertilizer. You can also shred the leaves and store them in bags for winter mulch.

Scatter seeds from annuals wherever you’d like them to bloom. You may be surprised: hardy annuals such as larkspur, poppies, cleome and cosmos often take root from seeds that are sown in the autumn and conditioned under the winter snow.

Replace summer annuals. After clearing out your summer annuals, plant some icicle pansies or violas for a fresh pop of colour for your garden. They will bloom until December and then lie down for the winter. Cover them with evergreen cuttings until early spring – and presto! They’ll be ready to sprout new flower buds. (Another idea for embracing autumn: arrange containers using a variety of ornamental cabbages and kales.)

Plant hardy, spring-flowering bulbs. Basic bulb tip: Plant flower bulbs three times the depth of the bulb. (For more information see Fall planting for spring flowers.)

Plant spring and summer-flowering perennials. If you’re thinking of planting perennials, the general rule is to allow six to eight weeks for root formation before winter settles in. A thick mulch of leaves and evergreen cuttings will help to keep root balls safe from frost. Experts say it’s best to wait until the soil has frozen before mulching any new plants. And a note to garlic-lovers: Autumn is also the best time to plant garlic. (See Garlic 101.)

Divide overgrown perennials. Now is also the time to divide overgrown perennials, including daylilies, hardy geraniums and Siberian iris. The simplest way to do this is to use a sharp shovel and cut directly into them – and then replant in the garden right away.

Continue to water shrubs and trees. To help them get through the winter, it’s important to give shrubs and trees a thorough watering right up until the time when the ground freezes. Also keep in mind that fall is a good time for planting evergreen trees and shrubs. Again, since the root systems of evergreens pump water all winter, it’s important to water them well before the ground freezes.

Harvest ripened fruits and vegetables – and then savour the sumptuous taste of summer all year long. Preserve the harvest of your garden with these simple ideas for preserving summer’s bounty.

Protect your equipment. To maintain your garden tools, clean them thoroughly before storing for the winter. Also be sure to turn off water taps – and bring all hoses and sprinklers safely inside.

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/cgbaldauf

Sources: CanadianGardening.com; About.com.

   
READ MORE
    Fall’s best buys
    Puppy proof your home and garden
    5 reasons to love autumn
    What’s on your fall to-do list?
    Fabulous fall getaways

Copyright 2010-2011 All Rights Reserved - ZoomerMedia Limited.

People In Heavy Credit Card Debt May Not Know This

If you owe more than $15,000, there is a way to pay off credit card debt that few people think of first. (It's not what you think!)

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Stomping Out Burglary, One Home at a Time

Tech experts like CNET call it “better, smarter home security.” Cops use it in stings to catch criminals. Meet SimpliSafe.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Order From Top Resume & Save 30% Today!

Let us help create a resume that can ease your job search! Save 30% today, our offer expires soon!

Personal Loan Rates as low as 5.99% APR

$25,000 for $742/mo. 3 yr repayment, $0 down payment. No obligation quotes. Get up to 5 offers in minutes. Quotes are free! Start loan request now.

Your place or ours?

Give your loved one what they want this Valentine's Day - more space! Find self-storage near you quickly and easily. Fall in love with Storitz.com!

Owe the IRS? Settle Taxes

See if your tax debt & circumstance qualify for relief (877) 713-9492

Clinical Strength For 4x Stress Sweat Protection!

Try Clinical Deodorant in 3 forms: invisible solid that goes on dry & stays dry, clear gel that goes on clear, & soft solid with skin conditioners.

Reverse Mortgage Calculator

Try Our 2-Step Reverse Mortgage Calculator. Check Your Eligibility For Free!

Habits to Help Reach Your 2016 Financial Goals

Overcoming your fear of investing starts with realizing that you already are. We share how to take it to the next level.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

Help kids in Honduras and all over the world get life changing vitamins just by buying yours at Walgreens.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!