Preparing the Garden for Fall

9 Ways to Start Preparing the Garden for Winter

Not sure how to start preparing the garden for winter? Follow these tips to get your garden ready for freezing temps.

With fall in full swing, the garden is showing signs that it is slowing down for the season. Some of my perennials are dying back, others have a powdery mildew on them, the leaves are changing and falling to the ground.

While the gardens still look pretty good, it’s time to start preparing garden for winter. The first frost will be here before we know it and there are some plants that need to be lifted or brought indoors before that happens.

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9 Ways to Start Preparing the Garden for Winter

Preparing Garden for Winter Tips

Here’s a quick list of ways to start preparing the garden for winter:

  • Bring houseplants indoors before first frost. Re-pot or divide plants that are outgrowing their containers. Check the weather to see if a frost is expected or bring indoors now.
  • Lift tender plants, bulbs and tubers.
  • Overseed the lawn.
  • Cut back any diseased plant foliage but do not compost it.
  • Tidy up plants that are falling over. I leave a lot of perennials and their deceased foliage up all winter so the birds can enjoy the seed as well as add winter interest to the gardens.
  • Purchase spring flowering bulbs (Tulips, Daffodils, etc.). Do not plant too early though – I usually wait until the temps are much cooler – usually in late October and sometimes as late as early November.
  • Now is a great time to plant perennials, vines, shrubs or trees! Nurseries are selling their stock off at a discount so run, don’t walk to get plants now while supplies last.
  • Dig, divide and move perennials around to improve the overall health of the garden as well as to tweak next year’s design.
  • Pick up leaves weekly and don’t let them smother plants or accumulate around the base of trees. They make great homes for rodents as well as promote other pests and disease.

Since the growing season is coming to a close, let’s stroll the beds and see what’s happening in the garden this week.

9 Ways to Start Preparing the Garden for Winter
Oak Leaf Hydrangea Foliage

Front Entry Garden

I finally decorated the front porch with fall decor. In addition to creating a fall vignette, I added a few pansies to the front border because they will overwinter and bounce back in spring.

As far as cutting plants back for the season, most of this garden will remain intact so the birds can eat the seed from the dried flower heads. I also leave it intact for the winter to add interest because snow will sit on the dead plants instead of flat ground. Thus, I will not cut this garden back until spring.

I need to lift the Dahlias out of the ground soon, They are tender in New Jersey and won’t survive the winter outdoors. Because I love them so much, I’m procrastinating this task until the last minute!

There isn’t much that I am moving around in this garden; however, I do need to dig, divide and replant my Siberian Iris. It has huge holes in the center of the plant, which is its way of telling me to divide it to keep it happy and healthy.

Fall front porch idea before preparing garden for winter

Fall Front Porch Ideas

Container garden for fall

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Dahlias before prerparing the garden for winter
I’m watching the weather to keep an eye on when to dig out the Dahlias. They are tender here in New Jersey and must be lifted from the ground and stored for the winter in a cool dry place.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
The fall garden colors look amazing this season. I love how the Dahlias pair with Sedum Autumn Joy and the pumpkins on the porch.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
Sedum Autumn Joy’s color is one of the reasons this plant is one of my favorites and a must-have for anyone wanting a garden that is always in bloom. The color and texture that this plant adds through the seasons is incredible and it is a low maintenance plant to boot.

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Mailbox Garden

The mailbox garden got a little face lift too. I tucked in some pansies because they are filling in some gaps and will return in spring. For fun, I also tucked in a few small pumpkins.

Similar to the front entry garden, I am leaving these plants intact. This garden will get cut back and cleaned up in spring.

As an aside, I am really pleased with the spring annuals I planted here. The purple petunias and yellow marigolds looked fantastic in spring when I planted them, but look even better now! The color scheme worked well through the entire growing season.

And I will likely choose a similar one next spring. Unless I am inspired by something better of course!

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Well Garden

I love this garden, but it needs some work. Overall, the plants look great, but I need to tweak the layout.

The Daylillies are located in the center of the bed and are not working for me there. I will dig them up and move them around this week so I can add a plant or shrub with a little more substance there.

I’m not sure what plant will go there, but will visit the nursery this week to find a suitable replacement.

My Peonies are ready to be cut back to the ground. Notice how gray they look from the powdery mildew. I don’t keep these up all winter – they will get cut back soon.
Hands down my favorite shrub! How gorgeous are these berries on Callicarpa (Beautyberry)?

Backyard Gardens

The backyard gardens are winding down. The deck is still getting used, but the houseplants are making their way indoors. We had a good zap of almost freezing temps over the weekend and some of the plants were begging to go inside.

Before bringing them indoors, I repotted a few and divided the Split Leaf Philodendron. It was one huge plant, but is now three smaller ones (still pretty large though). It was not easy to split but with the help of my husband, we got it done.

While the back borders are not as vibrant as they once were, they will kick up the color again soon. Most of the shrubs in that border have brilliant fall color so it’s just a matter of time before the foliage brightens up the landscape for one last time.

I do not cut much back in these beds either. Yes it is a lot to clean up in spring, but I don’t mind. I prefer to feed the birds and have something interesting to look at during the winter.

Outdoor Living Space
The leaves are really starting to cover the property. Fall is here…
Outdoor Living Spaces
After the zap of cold temps, some of the Caladiums really wilted and died back so I dug them up and am drying them out in the garage before I store them for the winter.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
I brought all of these houseplants indoors over the weekend. The Peace Lily in front was wilting and looked really sad after a super chilly evening. Now that it’s indoors, it is much happier.
Swiss cheese Plant
New houseplant alert!!! I recently picked this plant up last week and repotted it in this pretty container I found through the Facebook Marketplace.
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Since my hydrangeas struggled to bloom on old wood this year, I will be wrapping them with burlap in a few weeks. We will drive wood stakes into the ground then wrap burlap around it to protect the buds from harsh winter temps. Hopefully, it will bloom better next season.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
The backyard border is not as vibrant as it was a few weeks ago. But the fall color is about to kick in for the final show of the season.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
The Sedum and Ornamental Grasses are still showing their stuff. They have a few weeks to go until they rest for the winter.
Preparing the Garden for Winter
We still use the fire pit but have been holding off the last few weeks since it has been very dry here.

How are You Preparing the Garden For Winter?

Have you started closing your garden for the season yet? I spent some time this weekend knocking a few items off my list.

I love my front entry garden this week. It looks so good with the freshly decorated front porch.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and chat about preparing the garden for winter. I really appreciate you joining me and following along! If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden grew during the growing season, you can see them here:

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9 Ways to Start Preparing the Garden For Winter

9 Ways to Start Preparing the Garden for Winter

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