Ever heard that an end is just a new beginning? That’s how I feel about late fall in the garden. Yes, the season may be coming to a close, but it’s also an opening for future growing success.
With a little hard work cleaning, preparing, protecting and planning, you’ll set the stage to start your garden with a clean slate next year. Here’s how:
 Remove dead and/or diseased plants from the garden.
 Pull out weeds.
 Harvest and store cabbage and root vegetables.
 Send annuals to the compost.
 Rake fallen leaves off the lawn, removing any diseased ones. Use remaining dried leaves for compost or use your lawn mower to shred them up for mulch.
 Clean out fertilizer spreaders.
 Winterize your lawn mower with a good cleaning and remove the fuel.
 Tuck in tools, such as spades, shovels and trowels, by cleaning off any hardened soil with water and a brush; wipe metal surfaces with an oily cloth to prevent rust.
 Go one step further and give your flower beds a fresh edging. It’s one less task you’ll have to do in the spring.
Prepare for the coming cold
 Sow a cover crop of winter rye or wheat in vegetable gardens (available at some garden centres and farming stores) to prevent soil erosion and add nutrients; till it under next spring.
 Continue watering trees and shrubs (especially evergreens) until they freeze up to help minimize moisture loss throughout winter.
 Add shredded leaves, compost and/or composted manure to amend and improve your soil.
 Empty, wash and store away dry terracotta and clay containers in your garage. On apartment balconies, turn pots upside down and cover them with a waterproof tarpaulin.