07 Sep End of Summer Garden Clean-Up
I know, I know — summer’s not over yet, so why think about an end-of-summer garden cleanup? Because a prepared gardener is a more successful gardener, that’s why. Plus, a good cleanup takes some time. And I like to think of the end of summer because it helps me to deal with today’s 100-degree temperatures (Who’s with me on that one?).
If you live in colder climates, you’ll soon be putting your garden to rest. If you live in warmer climes, you have another garden season or two to go. Either way, a good cleanup at the end of this season gets your garden off to a good start moving forward.
- Remove any dead or diseased plant from your garden. Dead plants go into the compost pile, while diseased plants go into a bag in the trashcan.
- Save seeds from the plants that performed well for you this year. Put them into an envelope, label the contents and add a date.
- Take cuttings of plants like coleus and geraniums to root for next year’s garden.
- Eat up your veggie garden harvest. For excess harvest, plan ahead for canning, preserving, and freezing.
- Dry herbs to be used over the winter. Good choices are thyme, rosemary, basil, lavender, and chives.
- Clean out your garden pots. Old soil can go into the compost pile.
- No compost pile? Start one now!
- Organize, clean, and sharpen your garden tools.
- Weed the garden.
- Make notes of what went right and what went wrong in this year’s garden. That variety of cauliflower didn’t do so well for you? You might buy it again next year if you don’t have notes warning you otherwise. Planting yarrow next to the veggies attracted good bugs? Score! Do it again next year.
- Clean up your patio furniture.
- Resist buying and planting cool weather veggies, flowers, and herbs too soon — while many garden centers will offer them, the end of summer is usually still too hot to plant them. Wait a bit to give these beauties the best chance at thriving.