Autumn To Do List

October 12, 2021

Autumn is a chance to get things done in the garden that you didn’t get to in the spring. If you have a fruit or vegetable patch, you’ll be busy reaping the rewards of harvest. It’s also time to get out and start planting spring-flowering bulbs for next year and you can collect seeds for next summer, too. Don’t forget to start to prep your houseplants for coming indoors once temperatures fall below 50 degrees. 

Houseplant care

  • Spray plants thoroughly with neem oil or insecticidal soap to kill any pests currently residing on your plant or within the soil. This is an important step, because pests can easily spread from one plant to another.
  • Before bringing plants inside, move them to a spot outside that receives less sunlight, to acclimate it to growing conditions indoors.
  • Decide where your plant will reside indoors and if there is not adequate sunlight, invest in a grow light.
  • Consider purchasing saucers to protect surfaces from water.
  • Enjoy your indoor oasis!


General garden care

  • Check bird baths for adequate water for both birds and insects.
  • Add mosquito dunks to standing water.
  • Add compost and soil amendments to beds.
  • Check compost for heat and turn. Add moisture if needed.
  • Clean out ponds and cover with pond netting before the leaves start falling.



  • Plant fall flowering bulbs such as Colchicums.
  • Give Amaryllis a rest, indoors in a dark place. Water less and less and let the foliage to die down. Don’t water for six weeks.
  • Deadhead roses, annuals and perennials for potential new blooms.
  • Start planting spring bulbs.
  • Separate lily of the valley and transplant 3 inches apart.
  • Plant shrubs and trees.
  • Divide spring bloomers.
  • Put lime around tree peonies.
  • Plant pansies.
  • Divide peonies and replant.
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs.
  • Spray horticultural oil on hemlocks to control wooly adelgid.



  • Sow cover crops and green manure after harvesting vegetables. Use inoculant for legume seed.
  • Sow lettuce seeds or plants along with other greens.
  • Be ready to cover tomatoes, peppers & eggplant with fabric in case of early frost.
  • Keep winter squash on vines until the skin is hard (resists pressure from your thumbnail).
  • Sow spinach seeds. The tops will die back in winter but spring harvest will be early.
  • Do not compost diseased vines or leaves from veggie garden.
  • Spray BT or Capt. Jack’s on fall broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Harvest last of warm season veggies.


Lawn care

  • Plant grass seed. This is the best time of the year to seed or overseed.
  • Spread corn gluten meal for fall application. It will not only fertilize but also will stop fall weed seeds from germinating. Do not apply if you plan to plant grass seed; it will prevent germination. Wait until next April.
  • Continue mowing at a higher cut.
  • Biological or chemical grub control can be used now if necessary.
  • Fertilize this month
  • Check pH and add lime if required.
  • Aerate and/or dethatch if required.
  • Spread a broadleaf weed control.
  • Install sod this month.