Fall gardening checklist

I arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in 1978. I remember rolling in to town like it was yesterday. It was the middle of September and it was raining. It rained and rained and rained and rained. And I was wondering, is this what’s it’s like around here? I was used to nice autumn weather that stretched well into October.

This year we’re getting a taste of what it’s like to have such nice weather that extends well into October. It’s a great time to be outdoors and doing some garden chores you might otherwise skip until spring. Here are some suggestions for things you can do this fall which will help ease the load next spring.

  1. Pull the weeds in your garden bed
  2. Divide perennials
  3. Cut back perennials
  4. Move plants around as desired
  5. Mulch around plants to keep the weeds down next year. I like to lay down a thick layer of mulch they give away at the city compost site, then layer over top of that with a decorative mulch.
  6. Plant tree seedlings like those sold by the Conservation District
  7. Dump out the potting mix in the containers/hanging baskets you used to grow flowers. I recycle all of this mix. I have a rectangular tub I put it all in where I can turn it with a hoe. It can be used to grow potted plants next year, using it as a filler, if you wish and top it off with fresh potting mix.
  8. Dispose of all opened bags of inorganic fertilizer, if you have it. These opened bag naturally collect moisture from the salt in the fertilizer, making it impossible to use it in a spreader. Call the local recycling center to see if they have a designated pickup day and time for this.
  9. Fertilizer your lawn after it goes dormant. This is a little trick I heard from a lawn care person. It will result in a hasty green up in the spring.
  10. Plant garlic, tulips, daffodils and other bulbs. Use a bulb planter or the Proplugger to do this.


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