September/October Garden Chores ~ Here Comes Minnesota Fall

Fall is definitely here and I can tell by the cooler temperatures and the difference in the sun light. You can tell at sunset. As the sun starts setting, the shades are getting longer, and the days shorter. And as the sun sets, then you see it— the blue hour, that time of the evening when the world takes a blue hue in a moment of pure perfection.


Yet with all the changes, fall is one of my favorite seasons when it comes to gardening. While many consider it the downhill of the growing season (and in many ways it is), it is a season when there is much still growing and much that needs to be done in the garden.In many aspects my garden is not big at all, yet the number of chores that I still require to do increase in the months of September and October. Notice I did not say “fall season”. And that is because in Minnesota, you never know what you are going to get. :)

  • Weeding

Now is the time to get rid of those weeds. I have been doing this all summer. This year I used black landscaping fabric for my dahlias and it reduced weeding by like 70%. But taking care of the weeds now will ensure they don’t come back with a vengeance comes spring.

  • Plant fall bulbs

Spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils should be planted in September or October, when the soil temperatures have cooled, but before the first frost. When choosing bulbs, look for plump and firm ones. Also, bigger bulbs tend to bloom more than smaller bulbs in my opinion.

*** Now it is not the time to plant dahlias or gladiolas. Wait until spring for that, after the soil is thawed and the danger of frost as passed.

  • Plant Fall Lettuces and Garlic

I love lettuce and they seem to taste even better during this season. I also pick lettuces that will grow faster since the Minnesota fall season can become winter rather fast.

Garlic is one of those ingredients I just love and I am excited to plant this year two new varieties that I have heard nothing but good things.

  • Transplant Herbs

Unfortunately, unlike when I lived in the Caribbean, I cannot keep herbs outdoors, so now is the time to transplant, put them in pots and bring inside. This will ensure you have plenty of fresh herbs during fall and winter months.

  • Dig It Out

If you have dead plants or bushes to dig out, now is the time. This is a matter of choice, but I just want a clean garden when winter arrives and not invite any pests or fungus.

  • Lawn Renovation

No is the time to re-seed, if have to. Prime time for re-seeding cool-season grasses is late summer to early fall. This is because cool air stimulates growth. We actually like to also aerate the grass, which is basically taking plugs of soil out of the yard, then re-seeding with grass seeds. Aeration helps with circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil, which in addition to the cool temperatures, will help the grass grow.

Winter Planning

This is a biggie for me because, due to the subzero winter temperatures in Minnesota, I have to dig out tubers and store them over the winter (always a nerve racking experience), move my David Austin roses to the garage (since they are potted), and clean the garden beds that do not contain fall planted bulbs. I cannot wait until I have a greenhouse to store my plants over winter.

Let’s talk roses because if you have them, now is the time to coax them into dormancy. Stop pruning them and feeding them, if you haven’t already done so, to avoid more growth. Leave the rose hips on the rose (they contain the seeds). By leaving them on, the rose plant thinks it is done for the season and will start going dormant.


There is a chance you can find me in these link-up by other fantastic plant lovers: August Garden Party, In a Vase on Monday, Mosaic Monday, Garden Blogger's Bloom Day (15th of the Month), Home Sweet Home, Floral Bliss, Home and Garden Thursday, End of Month View(31st of the Month), Harvest Monday, Blooming Friday, #MyGloriousGardens, Gardens Galore, Six on Saturday, Pink Saturday, Sundays At Home, The Gardener of Eden, Flaunt Your Flowers/Fertilizer Fridays with Tootsie Time, Nature Notes, Sky Watch Friday