Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

NYBG Fall Garden Chores


Chores and Maintenance

– Continue to thoroughly water trees and shrubs, lawn areas, and planting beds until ground freezes
– Complete removal of fallen leaves and debris to protect from overwintering of insects and disease organisms
– Cut back perennials to 4 to 5″, but leave ornamental grasses to provide winter interest until spring
– Mulch boxwood and broad-leaved evergreens before ground freezes
– Mulch flower beds to keep soil temperature stable and prevent winter injury from frost heaving
– Provide burlap windbreaks for boxwood and broad-leaved evergreens. Install stakes before ground freezes
– Protect trees from mouse damage with wire mesh trunk guards
– Protect shrubs from deer with burlap or netting
– Mow lawn one final time to a height of 1 1/2 to 2″
– Aerate soil around rose roots and hill up the earth 10 to 12″ around the crown after a heavy frost
– Continue to feed birds


– Continue to plant deciduous trees and shrubs until the ground freezes
– Complete planting spring-flowering bulbs
– Propagate deciduous shrubs such as hydrangea, viburnum, and weigela; and evergreens such as ilex, juniperus, and taxus
– Pot hardy spring bulbs for indoor forcing


– Fertilize trees and shrubs before the ground freezes so that food is available to plants in early spring
– Incorporate lime and fertilizer in the annual and vegetable gardens for next growing season
– Complete pruning of late-blooming trees and shrubs
– Prune early spring-flowering shrubs only to remove diseased or damaged branches to preserve buds


– Give houseplants as much light as possible as lower light days begin
– Continue to let up on fertilizing indoor plants until spring
– Provide houseplants with increased humidity; mist often or place plants over a tray of moist pebbles
– Pot up prepared bulbs for indoor forcing
– Begin to increase the time between waterings but do not cut back on the amount of water


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