What to Do With Annuals in the Fall: Preparing Your Garden for Winter

what to do with annuals in the fall

What to do with annuals in the fall and other tips for preparing for next year’s gardens, today

The crisp days of autumn are a gardener’s paradise, and there are plenty of blooms that will bring you fall color straight up to the first frost. But fall is also time to put your garden to bed for the winter. Here we offer tips on what to do with annuals in the fall and other things you need to know to take care of your gardens before winter. 

For fall clean-ups and full-service landscape maintenance from the best, call Borst Landscape & Design. Borst is the leader in garden design services for NJ, and we will help you create a beautiful garden that is well-maintained year-round. We also design window boxes, seasonal displays, and potted arrangements to bring extra seasonal color to your home.

Call (201) 581-8076 or contact us online

Autumn garden maintenance

It might be helpful to think of the fall as the beginning of next year’s gardens, rather than the end of this year’s. Tasks done in the pleasant weather of autumn lay the foundation for new growth come spring. With a few important jobs taken care of, you can head into winter’s cold knowing you’re ready for those warm days ahead. 

For example, fall is the time to plant bulbs, shrubs, trees, and perennials for next year’s garden. It’s also time to plant winter annuals and cool season vegetables. The cool air and warm soil give plants an opportunity to establish root growth without the burden of struggling through hot and dry conditions.

But what should you do with annuals in the fall?

What to do with annuals in the fall

What to do with annuals in the fall depends on the plants themselves. Some annuals, like pansies, snapdragons, mums, and asters are ideal for fall planting. They complement the colorful foliage of shrubs and trees and bring color into the colder months. However, it’s important to plant them before the soil gets too cold.

The other side of what to do with annuals in the fall is to remove the annuals and seasonal vegetables that have finished producing for the year. Unlike perennials, annuals do not come back in the spring, so common gardening practice holds that there is no reason to leave them in the ground. If you compost, you can pull them up, roots and all, and add healthy material to the compost pile.

More fall garden musts

Fall garden clean-ups and cut-backs are the difference to your gardens and lawns making it to a healthy spring. Remove weeds, thatch, and leaf debris. This organic material is a common place for diseases and pests to survive over winter. 

If you are cutting back perennials, make sure you take notes and pictures to remind you what is growing where, so you won’t have surprises when they return after winter’s dormancy. Some gardeners leave spent stalks on perennials until late spring as a place for pollinators to over-winter, while some prefer the clean look of a cut back garden in the winter. Talk to your landscaping company about what they think is best for your property and your tastes. 

Fall is also a great time to get a soil test and bolster the soil with whatever is lacking. Next year’s healthy garden needs a strong foundation to grow from. 

Your garden is one of the most beautiful elements of your home, and it’s smart to hire a professional to help you design and maintain it. 

Contact Borst today to learn more about our garden design or maintenance services. Call (201) 581-8076 or reach out online