Cleaning of autumn leaves in the park. Man in gloves cleans the autumn park from yellow leaves. Volunteering, cleaning, and ecology concept.

Fall Gardening, Simplified

By Tara Nolan

Many of us have eliminated our thorough fall garden cleanup as a way to be more environmentally conscious. Leaving some plant debris and hollow stems provides shelter for insects over the winter.  

While sustaining your garden’s natural ecosystem is important, there are still a few tasks you can do to maintain your yard before you tuck away the tools for the year.

Plant and lawn care
Perennials gone to seed will feed birds, so there’s no need to cut back plants until mid-spring. However, leaving huge piles of leaves on the lawn can damage the grass beneath. Move them to a compost pile where they will break down or use them as mulch in your vegetable beds.

Tidy up
Pull vegetables and annual plants, such as petunias and impatiens. Remove any rotting fruit, which may attract bugs and rodents that harbor diseases that can affect next year’s crops. Turn the soil to refresh the ground too.

Think ahead
Autumn is the ideal time to plant garlic, onions and shallots in your garden.

It’s also a great time to plan for spring blooms. Tulip, daffodil and snowdrop bulbs are readily available at your local garden centre, or you can order them online.

With these simple tasks, you’ll ensure your yard is both eco-friendly and ready for the upcoming season.

Some plants can be moved indoors through the winter season!

What to protect and stow away
• Empty and store terracotta, clay and ceramic pots to keep them from breaking or cracking.
• Put away tomato cages and plant supports.
• Clean gardening tools, removing caked-on dirt.
• Prune trees and hedges, clearing any dead limbs.
• Wrap any shrubs that are prone to ice damage.
• Thoroughly drain and store all hoses.
• Turn off your outdoor water source.

Earn more
Get all the yard and gardening supplies you need to wrap up the fall season with AMA Rewards partners. You’ll receive exclusive discounts and earn AMA Reward Dollars, too. Visit for a complete list.