Late Fall Garden Tips

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
October 23, 2007

I looked at the weather report and saw that we are expecting frost in the near future. That is normally a red flag that some things need to occur in the garden. At this time of the year what should you be concentrating your attention on for the best results to occur next summer?

Here are a few suggestions. Don't feel you have to do all of them. Sometimes, we look in the garden and we don't appreciate it for what it is. To me a garden means so much. It is calming, beautiful, active, growing and even sometimes spiritual. On the hot days it can just be hot and frustrating. But, don't focus all your attention on what isn't done. This list is not made to make you feel guilty. It is just an opportunity for you to prepare the garden for next year.

The plants pretty much know what to do without much of our help. We water them and pile mulch on them to keep them moist and warm. But, most will survive the winter without our help. I know there are Roses that need additional tender loving care. But, my Russian Sage. They are going to do what they need to do to make it through a tough winter or a easy winter.

Here are ten things you can do to prepare your garden for winter.

  1. If you are going to plant tulips start doing it now.
  2. Rose bushes should be covered.
  3. This is a good time to transplant plants to new locations
  4. Fertilize the lawn one more time
  5. Do some more weeding
  6. Cut back ConeFlowers to their leaves
  7. Bring in the bird bath and bird feeders
  8. Cut Back the spent flowers of the Yarrow, Salvia, DayLilies, Daisy, and Astilbes
  9. Pick up leaves
  10. Mulch plants where you see bare ground around them

Click on birdfeeder to see larger photo.
Photo of Bird Feeders in Garden.
Clean out the bird feeders with soap and water before putting them away for the winter.


Click on iris plant to see larger photo.
A Photo of an Iris plant that has been removed from the ground.
The Iris plant before being transplanted.



Tulips should be planted before the first frost. Now this isn't a hard and fast rule. I have planted tulips after the 5th frost. It is just easier to turn the ground while it is still warm. You can't wait forever. The tulip bulbs need to have a certain amount of time in cold ground. There are ways to force this without mother nature's help, but it is easier to just take the time to do it right.

Rose Bushes Should be Covered

Now there are different kinds of rose bushes. I am talking about the Hybrid Teas in Illinois. After the temperatures begin to go below 32 degrees, cut the trunk back to 15 to 18 inches high. Then cover the bushes with leaves. Make sure the entire bush is covered. Then I recommend you get a styrofoam cover for the bush. Place this cover over the rose bush and put a brick or something heavy over the top of it so it doesn't blow off.

If you have a methodology that you have used in the past that has worked for you, then don't go changing it now. Do the same thing you always do. These roses are delicate in the Illinois winters and need tender loving care.

Transplant Plants to New Locations

This can be an excellent time of the year to take you Irises and move them to a new location in the garden. We just took ours from the front of the house and placed them on the west side of the house. We'll see if they flourish there as nicely as in the front. Perennials you can transplant in fall:

Fertilize the Lawn One More Time

If you like having a green and lush lawn, then fall is a good time to feed it with fertilizer. You really only need to fertilize a lawn but twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. But, don't skip the fall feeding. This prepares the grass to be ready to grow in the spring once the ground begins to thaw.

Do Some More Weeding

Weeding can be hard work and by this time of year the last thing you want to do is more weeding. But, just a couple of more hours weeding in the fall will make your job in the spring so much easier. The key to good weeding is to do some everytime you go into the garden. A little here and a little there and you control them. Otherwise come mid-summer when all you want to do is sit by the pool or even in the pool; instead you have these weeds in all the flower beds and someone telling you they need to be removed. Make you summer more fun by getting a good start on them in the fall.

Cut Back Cone Flowers

This is really a personal choice. Some people like to have the dried seeds standing up all winter long. They can really add interest when the snow is sitting a foot or two high and all you see is the head of the coneflowers. But, other people are tired of them and think they look ugly. Well cut down the flower stalks. Hopefully, you glimpsed a bird or two eating the seeds of the coneflower. You think the birds should bend the flower to the ground, but no they just gently sway as they eat the seeds. By this time of the year the birds are heading south so if you don't want the head all winter then cut them down.

Bring in the Bird Bath and Bird Feeders

Depending on the material of your bird bath you may want to bring them into the garage. I have a bird bath that is ceramic that has a lot of character. It isn't level, it has cracked completely in half and the birds think it is too deep. But, we love it. I will bring it into the garage this weekend. The bird feeders should be cleaned out with soap and water before bringing inside. Some people will feed the birds all winter. I like to encourage the birds that should head south to start. By mid October I will stop feeding them. I normally don't feed the birds during the winter.

Cut Back the Spent Flowers of the Yarrow, Salvia, DayLilies, Daisy, and Astilbes

Mid October I was cutting flower stalks down. I spent my time on the Yarrow, Salvia, Daylilies, Daisies and Astilbes. These are personal choices. Mary and I choose to remove the spent stalks. It gives a cleaner look to the garden. Just grab a handful of flower stalks and cut with a pair of garden scissors. You can get through a garden bed in about an hour.

Click on Hydrangea to see larger photo.
A Photo of a Hydrangea before being cut for winter.
A photo of a Hydrangea plant before it is cut for winter.


Pick Up Leaves

Leaves should be falling from the trees. What are you going to do with them? Depends a lot on how your local community wants you to dispose of them. Some communities have trucks with huge vacuum cleaners on them. As the truck is driven slowly down the street, someone walks along with the vacuum hose and vacuums them all up into the truck bed. This is really a cool process, but sometimes you rake the leaves into the streets and then they aren't picked up for 3 or 4 weeks.

Many people use the leaves as mulch to protect their plants from the harsh winters. Pack the leaves around your Rhododendrons. As stated earlier you can pack your rose bushes. Cover some of your ground cover plants with leaves to protect them during the winter. These plants usually do a good job of capturing leaves and covering themselves like an old man keeping warm with a blanket and sleeping in front of the tv.

Hopefully, you don't live in a community like a friend of my wife's. This lady lives in an older neighborhood with many wonderful large old trees. She will buy 150 lawn and leaf bags every year. She buys a group of five everytime she goes to the grocery store all year long. That way she is ready when the leaves begin to fall.

Mulch Plants

In some garden beds you might find the mulch has deteriorated and you might want to freshen the mulch or even buy a little more to keep the plants happy during the winter. This should be a minor job and you will put more down in the spring if you need it.

That should be enough little tasks for you to keep you busy the rest of the nice weekends. There probably aren't that many more great weekends left for us here in Northern Illinois. This weekend is shaping up as a good one. But, it will be getting cold and windy and blustery soon. It will be easier to watch the leaves blow than actually be out there trying to capture them. Put a smile on your face and have one more fun weekend in the garden.

Secrets of SEO - This is the information that Search Engine Optimization specialists don't want me to print. This is so valuable you can make a career on just knowing this information and utilizing these search engine optimization techniques in your own pages and your customer pages. These are the secrets of search engine optimization -- SEO.

Latest You Can Learn Series Blog Articles:

We Arrive in Santiago de Compestela Spain

We walked for Thirty Three days straight

We have arrived in Santiago. We walked for 33 straight days. Some days were 12 milers and as many as 18 miles or more in one day. We reached our destination. We decided not to rush to reach the city. Mary had accidentally banged her knee on the table at the restaurant the night before and it was a little tender.

Day 31 Palas de Rei to Ribadiso

We have walked 31 days to Santiago de Compostela

Today we started early because we had reserved a room at an albergue and we had to get there by 2pm or we lost the reservation. Mary set a blistering pace in the dark morning mist. Sunrise is at 8 am but this morning we had clouds and fog so it was darker than yesterday. The path through the city was okay but then leaving the city it became more difficult.

Three days of walking left in our Camino

We only have 66 kilometers to Santiago

We have walked for 30 days with only 3 days till we reach our destination of Santiago de Compostela. It has been an amazing journey. We are in the Galicia region of Spain known for the rain it receives. Well we are extremely lucky because the weather has been beautiful for walking. It starts out cool in the high 40s but then warms up to the low to mid 70s. With plenty of sunshine.

We arrived in Sarria

Five walking days to Santiago

Today we started late at 8 am. We were almost the last people out of Triacastela walking the Camino.

Ocebreiro to Triacastela

Only 6 days remaining on the Camino de Santiago

We are sitting in a restaurant in the little village of Triacastela on day 27 having tapas. It was a short 12 miles that were mostly down. Tomorrow we hope to go to Sarria.

Views from Astorga Spain

From Leon to Astorga on the Camino de Santiago

We visited Leon, Spain yesterday and then we walked 35Km today. Leon was wonderful. Today we walked in rain for the first time. We went 35 KM yesterday for no other reason than we could.

Walked 17 Miles Today

Today we walked 17 miles on the Camino

Today we are sitting at the albergue in Terradillos de las Templarios. We are at the halfway point in our journey. We have walked over 250 miles or 400 kilometers. I truly didn't think we would be able to do this. Mary has been a real trouper walking through bad knees and the pain of shin splints.

Finished a Third of our Camino Experience

We have walked a Third of the way to Santiago

Today finds us in Ages, Spain only 14 miles from Burgos. We are quite excited that we have managed this distance. We hoped we could but we had doubts especially those first few days where we hurt so much.

The Path to Najera Spain

Eight Days of Walking

We have been walking for 8 days now. It has been interesting, tiring, painful, fun and a real learning experience.

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Mary and I started our journey to Santiago Spain. The first day we started in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. The goal was to arrive in Roncevalle, Spain before nightfall.

Home| About Us | NewsLetters | Contact Us |

Copyright © 2004-2014 You Can Learn Series

You Can Learn Series Home Page You Can Learn Series
You Can Learn Series Home Page Home            About the creators of YouCanLearnSeriesAbout Us      Contact YouCanLearnSeriesContact Us      Site map of YouCanLearnSeriesSite Map      Privacy Policy of You Can Learn SeriesPrivacy Policy       Terms of Use of You Can Learn Series web siteTerms of Use       YouCanLearnSeries RSS feed for Kenno's Blog     
C# and ASP.Net Programming TipsC# and ASP.Net     SQL Tutorial, tips and tricks for DBA'sSQL      Landscaping Tips for Home GardenersLandscaping      WeightLifting Tips for the Young and OldWeightLifting      Ken Speaks OutBlog      Good health TipsGoodHealth      Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel      Web Business TipsWeb Business          Great Items from You Can Learn SeriesStore

You Can Learn C# and ASP.Net Series C# and ASP.Net
You Can Learn SQL Series Learn SQL
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening Series Landscape Tips
You Can Learn WeightLifting Series WeightLift Tips

Kenno's Blog PageBlog
  Articles 2014 Blog Articles 2014 Blog
  Articles 2012 Blog Articles 2012 Blog
  Articles 2011 Blog Articles 2011 Blog
  January 2008 Blog January 2008 Blog
  February 2008 Blog February 2008 Blog
  March 2008 Blog March 2008 Blog
  April 2008 Blog April 2008 Blog
  July 2008 Blog July 2008 Blog
  Bluff Spring Fen an Illinois Nature Preserve is a wonderful place of quiet, trees, flowers, underground springs, creek and birds. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve
  Set your goals for 2008. Seven Steps to Reaching Your 2008 Goals
  Win 10,000 Entrecard Credits from AdToll. Save On Advertising With AdToll
  Learning the fundamentals will take you to success in Internet blogging. Success Is Achieved By Doing The Fundamentals
  Traffic numbers for the You Can Learn Series for 2007. Over 470,000 Page Views in 2007
  A Christmas poem for bloggers, SEO specialists and internet junkies. Twas The Night Before Christmas For Bloggers
  Thoughts on commenting on other blogs to drive traffic to your web site. Drive By Commenting is for Manipulators
  A commentary on banner ads, surveys and flashing gifs. There is So Much Noise I Can't Hear You
  A way for you to get additional traffic to your website. Free Advertising And More Traffic
  Some tips on gaining greater productivity with your writing. Writing Secrets For Greater Productivity
  How Often Should You Blog How Often Should You Blog
  Page Rank Paid Links Smack Down Update PageRank Paid Links Smack Down Update
  Protecting Your Copyrighted Articles Protecting Your CopyRighted Articles
  Strategies of a Great Email Newsletter Strategies of a Good Email Newsletter
  Four things that will help make your blog excellent Four Things You Must Do to Make Your Blog Excellent
  Identify Your Customer and Build a Web Page Just for Her Know Your Customer - Make a Lot of Money
  A way to maximize your Adsense RevenuesDo You Use Adsense Channel Settings Profitably?
  Interesting article on these popular pluginsFeedBurner, StumbleUpon, Surveys and Comments
  Making your email campaign generate revenueMake Your Email Campaign Profitable
  How to succeed in a business of your ownDon't Quit Your Day Job
  Converting images for your websiteConverting Images
  How to drive traffic to your website or blogDriving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
  Spanked by Google over Paid text link adsSpanked by Google
  Weapons of InfluenceInfluence

You Can Learn Good Health Series Good Health Tips
You Can Learn Series Newsletters Newsletters
Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel
You Can Learn Series Web Business TipsWeb Business Tips

Bill Welter - The Prepared Mind of a Leader

Americas Public Schools