Features,   Animals for AdoptionOut and About Calendar

Travel News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

Home and Garden News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)


Time for fall garden wrap-up     Send a link to a friend

[OCT. 8, 2004]  URBANA -- Fall is here and it's time to “put the garden to bed” for the winter, said Sharon Yiesla, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator based in Lake County.

"Here are some things that should be done to get the garden ready for the dormant season," she said.

Clean up vegetable gardens and annual flower beds

Harvest all usable vegetables and annual flowers. Leftover debris can be tilled into soil to decay and enrich the soil, or it can be placed into the compost pile. Clean up weeds, as they can harbor diseases and insects. Add compost and other organic material to enrich the soil. Mulch beds to prevent erosion during winter.

Clean up perennial flower beds

Remove weeds that may harbor diseases and insects. After a couple of frosts have occurred, mulch the perennial bed, if needed. About 2-3 inches of mulch should be adequate. Plants can be cut back now or in early spring. New perennials can be planted in fall and established perennials can be divided. September is usually the best time for this since air temperatures are cool but the soil is still warm enough to encourage root development.

[to top of second column in this article]

Tree and shrub maintenance

Prune deciduous trees after they go dormant (lose their leaves) or in early spring. Late-summer and fall flowering shrubs can also be pruned after they go dormant. Do not prune spring flowering shrubs in fall, as they already have their flower buds. Deciduous trees and shrubs can be fertilized after they go dormant in October. Continue regular watering as long as the ground is not frozen. Watering is especially important for evergreens.


Plant spring flowering bulbs in early fall (mid-September to mid-October). Clean garden tools so they will be ready for next season. See to proper storage of seeds, fertilizer and garden chemicals. Drain and store garden hoses. Consider composting as a method to deal with garden debris and autumn leaves.

[University of Illinois news release]

Previous features

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor