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Illinois Green Industry Association--the resource for industry professionals in Illinois--to provide garden tips to our valued gardening consumers in and surrounding Illinois.


Fall Garden Checklist
Use this timely guide to prepare your garden for winter. From Better Homes and Gardens
Garden, Deck and Landscape Magazine

Early Fall

     Clear away debris from the base of rosebushes. Fallen leaves can hold diseases that might overwinter.
     Water, water, water. Give all of your plants a good drink, especially your trees. Their roots need plenty of moisture to make it through the upcoming months.
     Amend your soil. Get the ground ready for next year's beds and your fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding fertilizer.
     Shop for bulbs. Order from catalogs or visit garden stores early for best selection.
     Plant shrubs and evergreens. Early fall planting gives new plants enough time to get their roots established before winter.
     Plant fall annuals. As your summer blooms fade, add color to your garden with fall annuals such as mums, pansies, and ornamental kale.

Mid Fall

     Lower the height on your mower. Grass grows more slowly in fall, but it still needs to be trimmed to prepare for winter. A lower cutting height helps the soil dry out more quickly in spring.
     Feed the birds. Don't forget your feathered friends -- their food supply grows scarce in fall.
     Divide and cut back perennials. Try rearranging plants if they haven't been working in their current location.
     Rake and mulch. Left unattended, fallen leaves will suffocate your lawn and beds. Shred them and they make great mulch.
     Dig up summer bulbs. Store dahlias and Caladium in peat moss for the winter.

Late Fall

     Get bulbs in the ground before the big freeze. Plant your favorite bulbs now for colorful springtime blooms.
     Force bulbs indoors for winter color. Bulbs such as narcissus and hyacinth work well.
     Feel your lawn. Don't let your lawn go into winter without the nutrients it needs to battle the long sleep.
     Empty hoses, fountains, and drip-irrigation systems. Ensure any standing water is removed from your watering equipment; store items in a dry place.
     Bring tender container plants indoors. Remove dead foliage and break up any hardened soil before nursing cherished plants indoors for the winter.
     Clean up the veggie bed. Remove weeds and debris so pests won't settle into a winter home in your garden.
     Dig up annuals. Spent and dead, your summer annuals can now nourish the compost heap.
     Protect cold-sensitive plants. Shrubs, roses, and perennials that might succumb to blasts of cold should be protected with mulches or screens. Place these protective barriers after the first freeze.






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