It's time to prepare the garden for fall

I love it when the counter is full of tomatoes....
School is back in session, and that means 2 things for the garden. #1 Fall raspberries are in their full swing. #2 The frost is coming and it's time to prepare.

If you're a northern gardener like me, then you know the season is much to short. But you can still make the best of the summer season before fall.

Here are my top gardening priorities for September - I hope they help you ready your garden for winter.

#1 - Remove all new flowers on tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and similar fruiting veggies. Prune out any suckers, new growth, or excess foliage so the plants can focus on ripening the fruit they are currently growing. For tomatoes, this also means removing any tomatoes that are starting to turn color. They can ripen on the counter (see above) while the plant put its energy into increasing the size of it's smaller fruits.

#2 - Prune any summer bearing raspberries you didn't get to in July.

#3 - Stop watering and/or feeding blueberries and other garden perennials so they can begin to harden off for winter.

#4 - Gather the supplies necessary to cover the berries once the leaves drop. For strawberries, I cover them with the leaves that fall in the yard. For raspberries, I make a string trellis to keep the canes from snapping under the snow. For blueberries, I cover them with burlap to protect them from winter nibblers.

#5 - Clean out your garden debris. Pull out dead and dying plants. Add all garden debris to the compost pile so there are no places for bugs/pests to overwinter.

#6 - Make a list of all the plants that grew well and what quantities to plant next year.

#7 - Buy extra garden soil, compost or potting soil while it's on sale this month.

#8 - Clean out any containers or pots so they can be used next year

#9 -Collect seeds from spent plants, dry them for about 2 weeks, then store for next season. Label well. ;)

#10 - Start dreaming of the 2012 garden and planning what and where everything will be planted. :)

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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