Garden Clean-up

Sep 20, 2011 at 8:13 p.m. ET

Well, it's about that time of the year to think about cleaning up your garden to get ready for winter. Saying goodbye for the winter is a depressing part of the cycle of gardening, but remember spring planting is only a season away!


Well, it's about that time of the year to think about cleaning up your garden to get ready for winter. Saying goodbye for the winter is a depressing part of the cycle of gardening, but remember spring planting is only a season away!

Most of the end-of-season garden clean-up is a way to start preparing for next year. Here's a checklist to get you started:

  1. Pull dead annuals plants. They're not going to come back, so it's best to remove them now.

  2. Harvest everything from the vegetable garden and removed dropped fruit under fruit trees. If you don't clean these up, the rotting food will attract animals.

  3. Clean up overgrown areas, to prevent animals and pests moving in. Mice love overgrown grasses as a winter home. Left messy, you'll not only invite animals, you'll encourage seed drop and more mess to deal with in spring.

  4. Put away garden tools and containers. You can hold onto container potting soil, if you plan to reuse it.

  5. Clean and store stakes, cages and garden decorations, especially anything that might rust. They will last longer if you keep them indoors during winter.

  6. Clean and sharpen tools before storing them so they'll be ready to use in spring. Remove caked-on soil, sharpen blades and coat with oil to preserve the finish.


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