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The garden is looking remarkably good for this time of year, but things will change quickly, so now is the time to take care of a few jobs to prepare for next year. Here are four things you can do right now to have a great garden next year.

I cleared out the half of the patio garden that I will be redoing. I incorporated a good amount of compost and raked it out and now the area is ready for planting either this fall or, more likely, next spring. Photos of the area from a variety of angles will help me plan this winter. 


They don’t have to be pretty, but if you haven’t been taking photos of your garden all summer, now is the time to whip out your camera or your phone and take a lot of pictures from different angles. Trust me. You think you’re going remember what your garden looks like, but come February you’ll be wondering what plants are lurking out there. And knowing what’s out there will make it that much easier and that much more fun to do a little mid-winter garden planning.


If you have a memory better than mine, mental notes should do just fine, but otherwise write down a few notes about what you want to change or reassess next year. I’ve printed out pictures in the past and written right on them, but even a list in the “Notes” app on my phone has come through in a pinch.


Personal experience (and common sense) has taught me that plants that go into their winter hibernation happy instead of stressed fair much better through whatever winter can throw at them. The only thing that’s less fun than dragging a hose around the garden is dragging a hose around the garden while you’re wearing a parka, but it will be so worth it come spring.


Even if you don’t go hog wild on the bulbs, at least plant a few. The joy they bring after a long, gray winter is immeasurable. I’ve gone years without planting any new bulbs and have regretted it every time. 

5 Responses

  1. Good tips! :o) I take notes all summer on what needs to be done and then start redesigning, etc come fall. I also take pix and then label all the photos after I take them so I remember what was planted where. It also helps to write down how many of each I planted so I know how many to look for in the spring.

  2. Great tips. I took pictures all summer and have downloaded them onto the computer. Then I went into and labelled all the plants. That way when they start coming up next spring, I'll know what everything is and what needs to be moved or split before they get too big.

  3. Couldn't agree more on planting just a few bulbs. I tend to be an all or nothing personality (I know that's so surprising) and often feel if I'm not going to Martha Stewart and plant 30000 then why bother at all? So maybe I'll only buy 100 this year. I was going to say 30 but I can't go changing all at once here.

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