Image Map

Meet Me in the Garden: Fall Gardening Checklist

Fall is right around the corner and while I love pumpkins and cozy sweaters as much as the next girl, I can't  deny that being in the garden is also tops on my list when it comes to fall favorites. There's something so therapeutic about preparing for winter and planning for spring. And being outside when the temperatures start to drop is just heavenly. A few days ago I got together with my sister and a friend for our annual gardening meeting which consists of breakfast at the coffee house, pouring over gardening catalogs and placing a bulk order of bulbs to share among us. After leaving the coffee house, I quickly made a fall checklist to do over the next month. Now, let's just hope the weather cooperates! 

Plant spring bulbs - These bulbs need to get in the ground before it gets too cold. Be sure to spread a thin layer of mulch over top to keep them warm all winter. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing little green tips of tulips, daffodils and iris peeking up at the first sign of spring!

Store tender bulbs - If you live in cooler climates or further north, you may need to store tender bulbs like dahlias, cannas and callas. I actually do not do this here in Georgia because it doesn't really get too cold and they've seemed to survive thus far.

Divide and cut back perennials - Fall is a great time to dig up and divide perennials like hostas, iris, black eyed susan and lilies. Here's a helpful guide to dividing perennials if you've never conquered this daunting task. One of my favorite things about doing this is sharing with friends! My sister and I love visiting each others houses and looking at all the perennials we've traded over the years.

Plant trees and shrubs - If you're dreaming of planting new trees and shrubs, now is the perfect time. The plants have time to take root before the harsh winter and will later enjoy a gentle spring before the scorching summer. 

Clean out rose beds - Fallen rose foliage can be a haven for diseases that set in next spring. Give roses a healthy start by removing this debris now and laying down a fresh layer mulch.

Top dress garden beds - Now that I've removed much of my summer vegetable garden like my tomatoes and cucumbers, I plan on adding some compost for the next season. Last fall I didn't have much luck with my garden but I'm gonna give it my best try again this season and hope the animals don't host their Thanksgiving dinner at my expense!

How do you prepare your space for cooler weather? 


  1. As summer draws to an end, I continue to struggle with weeding. In the ATL, it has been hot for weeks and I haven’t braved weeding in at least two months. SO, weeding is at the top of my list for fall. I also keep my mum cut back through the end of September. If you let them grow for about four weeks before Halloween, they should have nice flowers. I move any bushes or vines. I am going to try moving my Carolina Jasmine as it has taken over our gate. I also trim back decorative grasses and cannas that are no longer blooming. Cannas are tricky because they are so fleshy. I tried cutting back their leaves after they had been hit by the first freeze last year, but they were stubborn. I will let you know if I have better luck while they are still green. I am going to trim up forsythia, crepe myrtles and rose bushes. I am planning to tie up a nice little dogwood that is growing, but leaning some to one side. Other items on my list are to trim Irises and overload them with good soil and mulch. Mine did not do much and our friend said they went crazy when she concentrated on soil prep. I am going to get hubby to aerate and over-seed our fescue grass. The most exciting thing is that I ordered some bulbs that will come up in spring. It looks like I have my work cut out for me this weekend!

  2. I love Fall. I hope you are having a great weekend.