Besides raking leaves, what should you be doing to your yard in the fall season? Plenty! Yardwork in the fall requires almost as much time as it does in the spring. It’s a changing season from hot to cold and that means we need to spend time outside getting our garden prepared.

Whether you have a large or small yard, a vegetable garden, or a few pots of flowers, the coming cold weather signifies change. Now is the perfect time to clean up your yard and your garden and prepare your tools and accessories for colder temperatures.

Clean, weed and fertilize plants

It’s time to clean out your gardens of any dead plants that will not come back next year. Perennials should be deadheaded if you haven’t already and cut back so they are neat in the spring. Remove weeds you’ve missed so they don’t return and fertilize your plants to give them an extra boost to make it through the winter.

Refresh your mulch

Refresh the mulch in your garden and around trees. Mulch helps protect sensitive plants and tree roots from cold weather. It also helps retain moisture and keep weeds down.

Plant spring bulbs

In the north, bulbs that bloom in the spring are planted in the fall. They need a long cold period to sleep and store energy for blooming in the spring months. A few ideas of spring-blooming bulbs are daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth, crocus, and narcissus.

Divide bulbs and flowers

If you have flowers or other plants that have outgrown the space they’re in, fall is the time to divide them and transplant them to other areas of your yard. If you have no more room for planting, consider offering them to friends and neighbors rather than just composting them.

Prep hoses and faucets

Before freezing weather arrives, make sure that you prepare your hoses and outside faucets. Leaving them out all winter can cause cracks and wear which will make them useless in the spring. Be sure to drain all of the water from your hoses and store them in a garden shade or basement to protect them.

Store pots and planters

Ceramic and plastic pots can crack if they are left out all winter. If the planter has a plant growing in it, you can wrap it with heavy burlap to protect it through the winter. If it’s a plant you are no longer using, store it inside your garden shed to keep it safe.

Fall can be a busy time for gardeners, but be sure to take some time to enjoy the change of the season.