Don't even think...

Don't even think that as soon as fall arrives in the garden this Sunday you'll make a hasty retreat and head inside to think about Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas celebrations.

This is no time to give in and call it quits in the garden until next spring.

If you call it quits in the garden now, you won't have a spring with all kinds of pretty spring flowers. Your flower borders will be a mess of weeds and plant debris and faded floral flotsam. You will miss out on a great season to plant trees and shrub.

You are a real gardener. You just march yourself right back out to your garden this fall and start planting.  Shrubs, trees, bulbs. Now is the time to plant them.  Now.

And while you are out there, you need to weed, edge those borders one last time and apply a new layer of mulch to the garden.   Now.

And if it doesn't rain enough, you need to water those newly planted shrubs so they aren't thirsty all winter. Now.

Henry Mitchell said it best in The Essential Earthman“… but fall--not spring—is the great planting season for woody things. If, in other words, you had thought of lolling in the warm weekends admiring the chrysanthemums and the dogwoods turning red, congratulating yourself perhaps that the weeds are losing heart, let me cheerfully remind you that you should be exhausted (not lolling) since this is the busiest of all the garden seasons."

It's almost fall. Everyone out to the garden, now. Times a-wastin'! Now. Don't come in until winter!


  1. Oh gosh you're right, I almost forgot I need to replant the allium bulbs I had to lift in June when the waterline broke. And re-mulch that bed and do a million other things. Thanks to you and Henry for the reminder.

  2. So true, Carol! We are lucky to be able to garden all winter here, geared up in warm and waterproof clothing, but fall is the best time to do many chores. The weather is pleasant and there are still flowers blooming, a great time to be out in the garden.

  3. Carol,

    Thanks for the inspiration to do one last weeding and start spring out right!

  4. Your words aren't lost on me! In my part of the country, fall is THE peak planting period. And I've got a large, new bed to fill!

  5. There is so much to do in the Fall.

  6. So true--I've been waiting for cooler temperatures just so I could stand to be outside for more than a couple of hours in the early morning. I'd be out there right now, except it's raining--hooray!

  7. I'm not doing any planting this fall, but I really have major weeding and cleaning to do if I am even going to find my garden in the spring. I do have a small mountain of woodchips for paths and a new area for compost. No excuses to slack off.

  8. Awesome post, absolutely true! One of my biggest motivators for cleaning out now is to avoid the very active snake population in my garden in the spring, lol.


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