When plants blacken and turn to mush with overnight frost, it seems like the whole gardening game is over for another year. Well, not so fast.

If you work in your garden, you benefit from positive vibes and lower blood pressure, and scientists say we relax at just the smell of evergreen trees in our parks and yards. So let’s stretch the season a bit and do some fall gardening before it’s really all over.

Plant small flower bulbs
Tiny bulbs offer the biggest surprise for the least investment. At 15 centimetres tall, muscari and squill are small compared to the big guys like daffodils and tulips, and they are super hardy. Ten or 20 planted now will gradually spread to hundreds over time, making the spring show more spectacular every year. Muscari (also called grape hyacinth) is deep blue when it appears in May. Squill shines its white and blue faces up to catch the sun as early as the snow melts in April. Both can be bought and planted now and are short enough that bigger perennial foliage nicely covers them as they die back into summer. Looking forward to good feelings and sunny days next spring? Plant bulbs now.

Plant garlic
If you haven’t tasted the sharp, crisp flavour of a freshly picked garlic clove, you have been missing out. Buy garlic from the farmer’s or organic market, break each head into little cloves and remember to plant cloves pointy side up. The more sun and water they get next year, the bigger the bulbs will be for eating, so choose a prime piece of real estate and rich soil when planting garlic.

Start composting
Yes, you can buy compost and every garden article you read directs you to use it in pots, around new plantings and in your vegetable gardens. So is it time to start thinking of making your own homemade compost? Simply save extra fall leaves for use this winter and choose an easy system like my favourite composter, the Speedibin. This squirrel-proof bin makes life easier for gardeners and looks good to boot.

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