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12 Fall Maintenance Garden Tips

What to prune and when

As September approaches it is tempting to put away the garden tools until the spring and work on harvesting the tomatoes and other fall tasks.  With cooler weather and a good moist soil, it is a good time to fill in garden beds with new plantings, move or transplant shrubs & perennials, along with making notes for next spring.


12 Fall Maintenance Garden Tips

  1. Pruning -Best to prune Hydrangea after blooming. (Read more about Hydrangeas)
  2. Lightly prune Knock Out Roses as needed.  Prune back 1/3 in spring.
  3. Shear or prune Boxwoods and other small evergreen plants in the Fall.
  4. Shrubs:  For plants that bloom in summer, it is best to prune & shape in the spring:  (Buddleia, Caryopteris, Perovksia)
  5. Daylilies (Hemerocallis) - Plant or divide in fall or spring.
  6. Ornamental Grasses - majority are best to leave as is, enjoy the dried flowers during winter then cut back to 8-10" to the ground in spring.  Spring flowering perennials such as Hellebores - best to plant & move in fall. 
  7. When top growth on perennials have died back, trim as desired for neatness
  8. Divide spring & summer flowering perennials in the fall and divide or move late summer/fall flower plants in the spring.  Cut back foliage by half to prevent plant from wilting.
  9. Plant or transplant Shrubs- (Thujas, Knock Out Roses)
  10. Some perennials such as Sedums, Echinaceas, Rudbeckia & Ornamental Grasses are best left to enjoy their dried flower heads during the winter months.
  11. Mulch new plantings
  12. Remember to WATER in the fall.  Although air temperatures are cool, plant roots are still actively growing.

 Related ArticlesBenefits of Fall Planting, Overwintering Perennial in Containers