Autumn garden

The autumn garden is all about battening down the hatches for the coming season. While Fall has almost come and gone in the Minneapolis area, there is still a chance to make the most of the end of the season.

Here is a checklist of Autumn garden tasks and tricks in preparation for the Minnesota cold:

  • Ideally, fertilize in the early fall, while still things are still green
  • Take time to think about how the garden is laid out: it’s a good time to divide plants into blooming seasons (Spring/Summer), for example
  • Pull up old plants: insects can lay eggs on old plants, and they will hibernate and hatch in the spring, destroying your new growth
  • Work the old plants back into the soil (often doing this will kill the insects), and they will decompose into extra nutrients
  • Add compost and organic material, anything with carbon and nitrogen that will add to the nutrition of the soil
  • Make sure to discard any diseased plants. Incorporating disease into the mulch will compromise the health of the soil and the plants you intend to cultivate
  • For perennials, cut the stems within a few inches of the ground after the first freeze.
  • Waiting for the ground to freeze before mulching ensures that you won’t have rodents living in the ground and destroying your perennials during the winter months
  • Dispose of perennial cuttings, they have a higher potential for disease.
  • Leave any green leaves to fully freeze down, remove dry or brown leaves
  • When the weather becomes colder (November), heap the mulch around the plants to keep the roots at a steady, cold temperature
  • If you have any bulbs, mulch with a layer of evergreen boughs to prevent the soil from cracking and expelling the bulbs

Feel free to add any Autumn garden suggestions in the comments!