Autumn is just about upon us. That means it’s time to tackle our fall gardening checklist.

If you have a water feature in your garden such as a fountain, pond or waterfall, cover it with netting to collect fallen leaves and other debris. Before the temperature drops below freezing, make sure you drain all the water from your fountain to avoid damage due to cracking from ice formation.

Before you bring your potted houseplants indoors, remove any dead leaves and debris from the soil surface. For extra protection against bugs, remove the top layer of soil and replace with fresh potting mix. Rinse plants with water and spray with insecticidal soap to eliminate any remaining insects and pests.

By fertilizing your lawn in the fall, you’re promoting strong root growth and producing a healthy lawn for next spring. Ideally, fertilize 2–3 weeks before the ground starts to freeze. Optimally this should be done during the morning hours since warmer temperatures in the middle of the day can cause the fertilizer to burn your lawn. In addition, morning dew will actually help your lawn absorb nutrients.

It is important to clean your gardening tools before storing them for the winter. Remove dirt, sap or rust and ensure that your tools are fully dry in order to avoid metal corrosion and rotting wood. Don’t forget to drain all the water from your hose and bring it indoors as it could possibly burst or crack in colder temperatures.

You know it’s time to give your trees and evergreens a deep watering when deciduous trees start losing their leaves. This will ensure that the root system is moist and not craving water when the winter season comes around.

With a little organization and effort, you and your garden will be all set for the upcoming winter months.