Fall Gardening Tips that Pay Off

By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Columnist

While green thumbs seem to bloom in the spring, gardeners who tune into fall opportunities can improve summer’s green bounty with relatively little cost or effort, according to Jeff Yeager, author of, “The Cheapskate Next Door.”

“Spring fever is for spendthrifts,” Yeager says. “For cheapskates, fall is the time to garden.”

Yeager suggests four fall gardening tips that will pay off handsomely next summer:

Buy end-of- season nursery stock – Many nurseries dramatically discount their leftover container-grown plants and other nursery stock to make room for Halloween pumpkins and Christmas trees. It's a great time to negotiate the best deal simply by asking for additional reductions – and fall is the best time of year to plant and transplant trees, shrubs and other perennials because the warm soil promotes root growth.

Shop for tools and equipment
– Fall offers the best deals of the year on all kinds of garden tools and outdoor equipment including mowers, weed whackers, and even tractors. In addition to shopping for bargains at garden supply stores, check with local landscape companies that may be selling off used equipment after the summer season.

Give your equipment some TLC – With summer garden chores behind you, take the time to clean and care for the tools you own. Scrub and remove dirt and rust from shovels and such, oil the metal surfaces and bag the business ends of your tools in plastic bags with some leftover charcoal pieces to help prevent rust.

Divide and multiply –
Many perennials, including vegetable plants, are best divided in the fall. Dividing will make them healthier and provide multiple plants out of a single one at only the cost of a little labor. Do a little research to determine which perennials may be divided. Water the plant, and pull it out of the ground with rootball intact. Carefully separate the rootball into two or more parts, replant immediately and water.