Cornell Cooperative Extension

November 11, 2013

Last of the fall chores

We had such a long spell of nice weather this fall that I should have no excuse for not having gotten all my fall outdoor chores finished by now. But I suspect I’m not the only one with a few more to-do items on my list. Here are some tips and suggestions.


We are at the very end of the limit for getting spring flowering bulbs planted. Check your sheds and closets for any lingering bulbs that you bought earlier but still haven’t gotten in the ground.

I have a little more garlic to plant as well. It’s late, but I’m optimistic the bulbs will have time to root in before winter.

Dig up any tender bulbs that can’t survive the winter. This includes gladioulus, canna lilies and dahlias. 


Let water drain out of your hoses and then coil them up for winter, I like to hang them in the garage rather than leave them in a pile. And don’t forget to turn off the water to any distant spigots you have. We installed a frost-free hose faucet near the back door which is very handy during the cold weather for quick cleaning jobs.

You can leave the potting mix in your large planters and window boxes for the winter but bring them under cover for the winter. Large ceramic planters, especially glazed pots of any size, can crack if water accumulates in them during freeze/thaw cycles so be sure to bring them under cover as well.

Wooden planters won’t crack so you can leave them outdoors if they are too heavy to move but cover them to divert rain and melting snow. They don’t have to be kept at room temperature, a garage or shed is fine.

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