5 things to know about late fall gardening | New

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By the time the calendar moves to December, gardening thoughts have been replaced with Christmas lists and holiday songs. While it may seem like the yard and garden will be something to ignore until spring, there is still time to get a head start next year and enjoy the garden in the remaining weeks of 2021.

Bulbs are a great way to ensure early flowering. For many, tulips are a sign of spring as they often start to grow during the snowmelt. Bulbs can usually be planted in early December, as the ground is probably not yet frozen. If it is too cold for planting outdoors, Country Living suggests using pots to start the bulb. Just be sure to read the depth and care instructions on the package. Keep in mind that most bulbs will need to be kept in a cold location.

According to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, amaryllis bulbs are also a good option for fall gardening. The arboretum says, “Many garden centers and florists have amaryllis bulbs for sale and often they are already planted in a pot and all you have to do is add water. Amaryllis are long-lived plants that can be grown as flowering houseplants during the winter and as a foliage plant outdoors during the summer with an eight week rest period in your basement. during the fall.






Flower bulbs like tulips can be planted now to appear in early spring.




It was once thought that perennials should be cut after the growing season to prepare them for the following spring and give the garden a tidy look during the winter. However, experts advise leaving many plants alone, even after their flowers appear dead.

The Pennsylvania State Extension Program explains that there are many advantages to leaving perennials alone. Benefits include providing food for birds, helping beneficial insects during the winter, protection of other perennials, and interest in conservatories.

However, pruning is important in case of diseases or pest problems. For detailed information on fall pruning, visit the Penn State Extension Program website.






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The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum suggests cleaning bird feeders before putting them back on the road for the winter.




It’s Minnesota and Wisconsin… we know the cold is coming soon. The University of Minnesota has a list of suggestions for preparing home gardens for the winter:

  • Remove or bury debris: “Many pathogens can overwinter in plant residue, so it’s a good idea to chop and bury debris or remove vegetables from the garden. This is especially true for plants that have experienced significant disease pressure this year, such as lilacs or tomatoes. ”

  • Get the soil tested: According to the university, gardeners should test their soil at least once every three years.

  • Add mulch or plant a cover crop: the soil should not be left uncovered. Planting a cover crop like rye and covering a garden with mulch ensures that the garden soil receives important nutrients throughout the winter. It also helps prevent erosion, which displaces the topsoil.

Many tools and equipment are used throughout the year to create a successful garden. Now is a great time to take care of these items so that they are ready for spring.

One of the most important things to do is drain the pipes before the freezing weather arrives. If water remains in the hose, it may burst, requiring a new hose and potential water damage.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum suggests using this time to “change the oil, sharpen the blades, clean the air filters and replace the spark plugs on all your gasoline-powered equipment.” It’s also a good idea to make sure the tools are cleaned to prevent rusting.

Don’t forget garden ornaments, bird feeders, and potted / hanging plants. Early December is a good time to remove dead plants from pots and baskets and prepare them for future arrangements. Some garden ornaments should be kept safe if they are delicate.

The arboretum suggests cleaning bird feeders before preparing them for winter. It’s also a good idea to add squirrel guards, as birds won’t be the only creatures foraging for food.

Winter doesn’t mean the garden has to be abandoned for the next few months. Observe the garden for insects, birds and small animals to shelter and find food. It can also be decorated for the season with arrangements of evergreens in baskets and pots.

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