Start with planting your spring-flowering bulbs. Daffodils should be planted first because they need some time to root in the fall. Fortunately, squirrels leave these bulbs alone. All the rest of your bulbs can be planted later, right up until ground freeze-up, when squirrels aren’t as busy digging in the garden. Empty clay and ceramic containers and store them safely in your garage or basement. Left outside, through cycles of freeze and thaw, there’s a good chance they’ll crack. If you have a concrete or ceramic birdbath, be sure to turn the bowl upside down so water can’t collect in it. This isn’t necessary if you intend to use a birdbath heater that provides birds with a constant source of fresh water all winter long. Turn the bowl(s) of your fountain upside down as well or cover it with a special fountain cover available at Sheridan Nurseries Garden Centres.
Clean, oil, sharpen and repair all your garden tools before storing. Rub linseed oil onto wooden handles to prevent cracks. Make sure sprayers are emptied and washed out with hot soapy water. Empty the gas tank on your lawnmower or gas trimmer as directed in the manufacturer’s care manual.