Blue Flower

Garden bed with hydrangeas ready for fall maintenance

Winter is just around the corner, and I know the thought of abandoning your garden might creep in. But hey, this is actually the ideal time to carry out some indispensable fall garden maintenance.

Use the drop in temperature and the fact that there will be fewer insects to your favor and do some fall gardening. Putting the garden to sleep is far easier than awakening it in the spring.

The following tips should be adopted in the fall to ensure that your garden is better than ever in the spring.

Test the Soil and Enrich the Garden Bed

According to, the best season of the year to carry out a soil test is in the Fall. A soil test will help you determine the PH level of your soil. And if need be, you can add the right quantity of lime to keep it in check.

This is also the best time to fertilize your garden beds with compost or organic manure. Ensure you spread an even layer of compost or manure on the surface of the soil. That’s all you need to really do. The freeze and thaw process throughout the winter in conjunction with help from the earthworms will naturally integrate it into the soil.

Note: To further enhance the quality of your soil during winter, collect and shred fallen leaves, spread them over the garden and allow them to decompose during those cold winter months – they will break down to form a combination of nitrogen and carbon that will improve the fertility of the soil.

To test your soil, visit this resource:

Collect and Dispose of Weeds

Fall is the ideal time to take out the dying or dead plants, clean up any debris and be sure to take out the weeds.

Fall garden maintenance pulling weeds

Basically, use this period to get rid of any unwanted element in your garden. However, do not mistake your deciduous plants for weeds as they will lose leaves or die back.

Putting the Garden to Bed

Putting the garden to bed is a phrase that basically means cleaning and tidying up the garden, putting away all the tools and items that you wouldn’t need till spring, and ensuring that everything is well prepared for when you require it.

To ensure that you won’t have a lot on your hands in spring, try to rid your garden of pests and diseases and clean out the debris. Here's more advice for first time gardeners.

For warmer climates; ensure that you shelter or move young plants to safer locations; anticipate sudden fluctuations in temperature and remember to protect tender plants from drying winds. Visit here for more on climate change and how it affects your garden.

Fall Preparations Bring Spring Benefits

Dedicating time during the fall to ensure that your garden is well prepared for the winter season is basically the deciding factor that ensures that your garden is beautiful in the spring. While this list may not be very lengthy, rest assured that it touches all the key points for your fall garden work.

One Final Note: Ensure that you do not cut back all the dying or dead stalks in your garden. Leave behind a few sunflowers and other plants that have seeds and berries. They will cater to the appetites of birds throughout winter. In most cases it is better to leave plants that are native to your region behind, local wildlife will most likely feast on them.

Garden foliage infected with plant disease

The Nebraska Farmers Union is offering extensive training, but here are some of the most common vegetable diseases and how to treat them:

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Bacterial spot is among the most devastating diseases that can affect peppers and tomatoes grown in warm and moist environments. The infected plants develop small, dark water-soaked spots on their leaves. The spots dry up and drop out, leaving holes in the leaves. These small dark spots will also develop on the fruit. Bacterial leaf spot also affects other vegetables including broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage-family crops living in your vegetable garden. After the disease presents in crops, it can be almost impossible to control it and prevent it from spreading and causing major fruit loss in a favorable environment. Tackle the problem by applying sulfur-based fungicides weekly as soon as the disease shows to prevent it from spreading. Also destroy any plants that have been infected heavily.

Anthracnose Disease

This is a fungal disease that infects plants by creating dead areas on the leaves and fruit. It is able to attack a range of plants, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, and beans being the ones most affected. The disease is primarily found in the eastern United States. It causes small, dark, sunken spots to appear on stems, fruit, or leaves. It spreads quickly and takes just one week to do a lot of damage. It develops thanks to cool temperatures and moisture, making it important to keep your garden fresh and clean. It’s impossible to get rid of anthracnose after it infects your garden. All you can do is aim to reduce the spread of the disease, but you may be left with little to no choice other than destroying severely infected plants. Learn more here:

Powdery Mildew

Garden foliage contaminated with powdery mildew


Unlike other kinds of fungal diseases, powdery mildew can develop and infect plants without moisture. It is also able to survive in the warmth. As such, it is able to infect plants under a range of different conditions. Plants that become infected with powdery mildew appear to be dusted with flour. Powdery mildew will typically present by covering the upper part of leaves, beginning with the older leaves; leaves will typically turn yellow and dry out. Leaves can turn brown and fall out as the infection gets worse. It causes fruit to ripen prematurely, giving it poor texture and a bad taste. The symptoms will often present later on in the growing season. Prune and stake plants to improve their air circulation. This is an effective way to prevent powdery mildew. Prevention is key because infected plants must be destroyed to avoid the risk of them spreading the disease to the rest of the garden.

Prevention is Key when it Comes to Garden Diseases

The best strategy for combating plant diseases is preventing them. Cultivate disease-resistant plants and give your plants the space they need to get good air circulation. Don’t forget that plants need to breathe too. Drip irrigation can be used to keep water drops away from plant leaves. Rotate your crops each year to prevent crops that are susceptible to disease from staying in the same soil for several years. Make sure you keep your gardening tools clean and disinfected. If you do have to removed diseased plants, then avoiding composting them. They should be burned or dumped in a landfill.

Read a related article about tree diseases that can ruin your yard, and see the below tutorial for spraying a tomato that has fungal disease.

Just like any plant out there, trees are not immune to tree diseases too. Despite how well cared for they are and how healthy they seem to appear, there are many instances when they are just suddenly struck with a problem. As a tree owner, you have to remember that it is your early detection to these problems that will depend whether you can save these trees or not. Visit this site for more detailed tree disease and insect information So, getting to know what are the common problems that they tend to experience is very important.

Cross section of a diseased tree

Identifying Harmful Tree Diseases

When tree problems are caught in time, there are many instances when steps can still be taken to resolve them, just because you have a tree that has caught a disease does not mean that it is going to be an immediate death sentence. There are many instances when the disease has been successfully treated after the fungi or bacteria that is causing it has been identified.

Canker disease - This condition often comes in three forms. There is the Phomopsis, the Nectria, and the Cytospora. They often resemble as a blister along the branch or the bark of a tree just like how a canker sore is. This is often caused by an open wound on the branches of the tree that became infected with either fungus or bacteria. Watch this video to learn more and see the effect of canker disease:

Heart rot - This is a disease which a lot of deciduous trees tend to be susceptible of. It is common in birch, beech, dogwood, cedar, as well as in maple trees. It occurs when these trees are not pruned properly, is damaged by insects, animals, or fire, or is left with branches that have been broken. Just like with canker, this is also a disease that is caused by a fungus that thrived on the bare wood or the open wound of a tree.

Root and butt rot - This is a condition that can affect those hardwood trees in their butt or at the roots. The butt of a tree is that base on its trunk that is at the same level as the ground. This is usually a leathery and black fungus that spreads from the ground up to the trunk of the tree. A sign that this is a likely problem in your tree is when you find mushroom growing on the soil that is right at the tree’s base.

Powdery mildew - This is a condition that trees such as chokeberry, catalpa, crabapple, and linden. This is usually a gray or white powder growth that is very much like talcum powder that can seem on the cleaves of the trees. It is a very common condition that is persistent in dry and warm climates.

Sooty mold - This is a condition to which trees like linden, maples, elm, and boxelder are likely going to be prone to. This is a disease that is known for attacking several species of trees though especially where there is a prevalent population of feeding insect. The mold fungus causing the condition feeds off of the honeydew insect. It is usually a powdery and black coating that is found on both the surrounding soil of the tree and the leaves.

Successfully identifying these diseases is half the battle to overcoming this challenge. Check out photos of some of the more common tree disease here Use the above tips and indicators to spot a disease and save your tree from severe damage or death.

Part of caring for a tree is making sure that it is properly pruned. It is important that the tree pruning is done right and one a regular basis to make sure that the tree remains in the best condition. Understanding what needs to be done and how it works is crucial to ensure that you have a tree that is healthy and well-maintained. There are also tree service companies that can be called upon to help.

tree pruning tips

When a tree has a disease or a damaged limb, it is important for it to be removed immediately, it does not matter what time of the year it is. As long as there is a diseased limb, it must be removed from the tree.

If there is to be considered the worst time when it comes to pruning it would be during the early spring growth. This is because doing the maintenance pruning at this time of the year is only likely to result in b you stunting the overall growth of your plant. It does help when you have an idea what is the best maintenance pruning for the kinds of plants you have at home.

For instance, trees that bloom in the summer should be pruned in early spring. Hedges, evergreen trees as well as shrubs that bloom in the early springs should be pruned early in the summer. Birches and maples are best pruned during late summers. Young trees that bear fruit along with the mature fruit tress, as well as everything else, need to be pruned late winter. The reason for this is to make sure that the wounds produced after the pruning will not be easily susceptible to insects.

Pruning can be a very tricky job; this is especially true if what you need to take care of is true with considerable size and height. This is a duty that should not be taken too lightly; safety is a very crucial component if you decide to take on the job.

It is important not to prune a tree when you are on a ladder alone. Securing yourself to two points on the tree is the best and safest way to get the job done right. People are prohibited from climbing while holding tools as well. The best way to get them is to have somebody pass them to you instead. Taking a rope and then pulling them up after you have secured yourself is another good idea as well. Safety glasses and hard hats should be a standard for every tree pruner to wear.

If you have never done this job before, though, it’s always best that you call the experts for help, a lot of people often refrain from calling them in just because they think that the amount they save from not calling one in would be well worth it. If this means jeopardizing your safety along the way, then it is better to call one of the tree service companies. Find a professional and experienced arborist, make sure he has tools, he has a license. Make sure to that he has been in the field for a long time, so he will not be a disappointment.

Doing some site analysis is considered as the very first thing that you need to take into account if you are going to look for the best landscaping and gardening ideas there can be. Speaking of site analysis, what you really need to do when it comes to this matter is to look over on the property that you are planning on having the gardening and landscape ideas be applied onto and then, you have to list down the strength as well as the weaknesses that it has. In addition to that, you also need to guarantee yourself that you have done everything that needs to be done with your site analysis such as that you have already carefully examined every nooks and cranny of your property and see the features that you like best as well as the ones that you wanted to remove. Other than that, there is also a need for you to think about the best possible ways that will allow, eve you who is not an expert, to correct or improve the things that you do not like with your property. If you are filling your heads with the many possible inquiries that you need to ask about when it comes to landscaping and gardening, then for sure, there will be so many ideas that will come to you in no time at all. You can find more gardening info by contacting the right professionals. 

Once you already done conducting site analysis and you have already determined and identified the things that you do and do not like with your property, then you can now proceed with the next step and that is to sketch your own property. The best thing that you can possibly do with regards to making a sketch of your property is to make it large enough for you to be able to stay as close as you possibly can to it. With regards to the sketch that you will be making for your property, there is a need for you to be able to guarantee that you have included your house and other buildings that are visible near you area, not to mention the need for you to include details such as doors and windows. It would also be best for you to include trees and other plants out there, that is if you are planning in incorporating it into the landscape and gardening ideas you are planning on making. Furthermore, there is also a need for you to make sure that the you have marked the compass points.

For you to be able to have a much better opinion of your property for the sake of your sketch, you need to walk around your property at various times of the day with your sketch on your clipboard and the mark the areas that are sunny and shady at any given time. There are plenty of tree removal and cutting services nowadays that can provide great results so be sure to take some time and look for them. Take a look at this video to get yourself some great landscape and garden design ideas:

Have a small garden to work with? Go to for more ideas.