Fall is the time when last year’s clean up meets next year’s preparation. But don’t let fall garden chores get overwhelming–use this handy checklist to remind you of what needs to be done and why.
1- Remove diseased or pest infested plants. If you don’t, you make it easy for the same pests and diseases to find your plants next year. (Of course other plant debris can be composted.)
2- Get your soil tested. Some nutrients can be added in the fall to give plants a running start in the spring. Cover crops and/or compost can also be used to improve your soil.
3- Remove grass around fruit trees. Having growth near your tree trunks makes it easy for
mice and other pests to create nests there.
4- Fence against rabbits, deer, mice. In the dead of winter these animals often turn to eating tree bark. To keep rodents from damaging your trees, make a cylinder of ¼ inch hardware cloth with a large enough diameter to stand a couple inches away from the trunks of your fruit trees. Bury it a little way into the ground and anchor it securely to a post. (Of course deer will require much larger fencing.)
5- Chase off moles and other ground dwellers. Using a repellent such as Chase Mole in the fall may cause these pests to leave now and stay away all winter!
6- Plant garlic, daffodils, and other bulbs. Planting in the fall gives bulbs a chance to start their root growth early for better growth in the spring.
7- Use cover crops or mulch to prevent erosion and preserve soil. Bare soil tends to wash away with winter thaws and spring rains. Cover your soil to keep it where you want it!