Fall cleanup sows a head start to spring planting

Updated Feb 19, 2013

Summer is through, but there is still work to do outside. Cleaning up the yard and garden in fall can give you a head start on spring planting and keep garden pests and diseases in check.

“There’s still plenty to do this time of year”

“There’s still plenty to do this time of year,” said Bill Dawson, coordinator of the Growing to Green community garden program with the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. “Wait for a sunny day and just go out and see what needs to be done.”

Here is a quick guide to fall cleanup tasks.

First, pull out and remove all of the summer annual flowers as well as warm-weather vegetables from growing beds. This includes removing any wayward fruits and vegetables, such as unripe or rotted tomatoes and greens. Yes, you could dig them under to compost in place, but in gardens “ cleaner is always better,” Dawson said. Pests and diseases could overwinter in what’s left behind.

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