Use this timely guide to prepare your garden for winter.
Give all of your plants a good drink, especially your trees. Their roots need plenty of moisture to make it through the upcoming months.
Order from catalogs or visit garden stores early for best selection.
Test Garden Tip: If deer or rabbits are a problem in your area, select pest-resistant bulbs such as daffodils, Siberian squill, and fritillaria.
Learn about some of the best spring-blooming bulbs.
Discover more bulbs that pests leave be.
Fallen rose foliage can give diseases a safe place to overwinter and create problems in your garden next year.
Learn more about getting your roses ready for winter.
Early fall planting gives new plants enough time to get their roots established before winter.
Get tips for planting trees and shrubs.
Get the ground ready for next year's beds and your fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding home-made compost.
Learn to make and use your own compost.
Once your summer blooms fade, add color to your garden with fall annuals, such as mums, pansies, and ornamental kale.
Beautify your yard with our fall container garden ideas.
Grass grows more slowly in fall, but it still needs to be cut to prepare for winter. A lower cutting height helps the soil dry out more quickly in spring.
Learn more about lawn mowers.
Don't miss out: More fall lawn-care secrets.
While you're digging them up to divide them, try rearranging plants if they haven't been working in their current location.
Test Garden Tip: Hold off dividing asters, chrysanthemums, and other fall-blooming perennials. It's best to split them in spring.
Get step-by-step tips for dividing your perennials.
Love the way your favorite summer bulbs performed this year? Save them for a repeat show next year! It's easy: Dig and store dahlias, cannas, caladiums, callas, and other tender bulbs in peat moss or sand in a cool (around 50 degrees F is best), frost-free spot for the winter.
Note: If you live in an area where the bulbs are hardy, you can leave them in the ground. Digging and storing summer bulbs is only necessary if they can't take the amount of winter cold your area experiences.
Get more tips on storing tender bulbs.
Discover our favorite summer bulbs.
Left unattended, fallen tree leaves may suffocate your lawn. Shred them and they make great mulch.
Find the best kind of mulch for your garden.
Plant your favorite bulbs now for colorful springtime blooms.
Test Garden Tip: You can usually get away with planting bulbs late, up until the soil freezes solid enough you can't get a shovel in the ground.
Don't miss our bulb planting tips!
Get an early touch of spring by planting bulbs now to bloom indoors in January or February. Bulbs such as narcissus and hyacinth work well if you plant them now and keep them cool until you're ready to enjoy the blooms.
Discover more on forcing bulbs.
Don't let your lawn go into winter without the nutrients it needs to battle the long sleep.
Know how much lawn food to use with our fertilizer calculator.
Remove dead foliage and break up any hardened soil before hauling your cherished tropical plants (such as mandevilla, passionflower, and citrus) indoors for the winter.
Test Garden Tip: Keep an eye out for pests, too. Before bringing plants indoors, spray them, if necessary, to keep aphids, mealybugs, or other harmful insects out of your house.
Get more tips.
Ensure any standing water is removed from your watering equipment; store items in a dry place.
Remove weeds and debris so pests won't make your garden their winter home.
Spent and dead, your summer annuals can now nourish the compost heap.
Shrubs, roses, and perennials that might succumb to blasts of cold should be protected with mulch or another protective covering. Place these frost barriers after the first freeze.
-Trees add years of beauty to your landscape and help shade your house keeping it cooler around the summer and attract birds as well. It's pretty easy to plant a tree. Just follow these simple steps for success. First off, make sure you're planting your tree in the best possible spot. Pay attention to the size of the tree so that it doesn't end up outgrowing it space. Also note the growing conditions ensuring the tree is compatible to your soil type, the amount of sun and shade they gets, and other climate factors. Once you place your tree, mark a hole about twice as wide as the pot. We find it easy to leave the tree in place then start your circle removing the side in 1 or 2 pieces and then digging up the trail. One of the most important things to pay attention to when you're planting your tree is making sure the tree's planting hole is about as the opposite farthest hole. Avoid digging the hole too deeply. It's more work for you and harmful to the old tree. As you drop your tree into the hole, loosen the root balls spreading up the roots. This is important too. The tree roots grow in circles inside the pot. They continue to grow that way and eventually strangle your tree. After your tree is placed, fill the hole with the soil you dug from it. Resist the urge to fill it with better soil. You don't want to create a pocket for your tree's roots that they don't want to grow out of. Water you tree well and cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. This keeps the soil cool and moist as your tree gets established.
One of the questions that we get each year is whether or not to cut plants back. There's no hard and fast rule, but in general, you do wanna cut your plants back before next spring. Here's an example. I've got some lilies right here that are starting to die back. We've just had a frost here, so you do wanna wait until after the first frost before you cut your plants back. Cut them about 3 to 4 inches from the ground so you have a marker for next spring and you'll know right where your plant is. Take the cuttings and go ahead and compost them. There are some plants that you definitely wanna cut back, anything that has diseases on it or things that might recede into the garden. I've got an example of a plant here that's definitely diseased. This is a peony and each year, diseases get to them. You'll see these brown spots on the leaves. Go ahead and cut them back just as you would some of the other perennials, just 3 to 4 inches from the ground. But the difference here is you wanna toss these leaves rather than putting them in your compost bin. Just go ahead and throw them into your trash bin. Now I've got an example right behind me here of a grass that I like to leave standing in the garden. This is a zebra grass. It's real pretty right now in the fall. It's also gonna be really pretty this winter with snow all around it. It's also a great plant that collects snow around the base. The snow will be a great insulator for this plant. Besides leaving plants for winter interest like this grass over here, another great reason to leave plants standing is because they'll attract wildlife throughout the winter. For example, this aster right here. When these beautiful pink flowers die back, you'll have buds that are filled with tons of seeds, and finches just love to snack on these through the winter. So just remember, fall is a great time to get out into your garden and do some cleanup and you'll be ready to go next spring. And that's your Test Garden tip.