Fall is really starting to set in now with the cooler temperatures and shorter days. Use this time in your garden to do some cleanup and get your garden ready for Spring.
Continue harvesting your vegetables, of course, as long as you can. Make sure to pick your pumpkins and other winter-squashes with hard shells before the first hard freeze comes. If the hard shell develops enough, you should be able to store your squashes for several months in a cool dark place. Pick tomatoes green to save them from a killing frost and ripen them in a cardboard box or paper bag. Extend the life of your cool season crops (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) by using row cover.
Continue planting your spring flowering bulbs until the ground freezes. Divide your perennials if you haven’t done so already, and plant any new shrubs/trees while the ground is still soft. Also make sure to keep watering any new plants until the ground freezes.
Fall is also the perfect time to mulch. Surround your plants with 2-3 inches of mulch/soil conditioner to protect your plants from the cold, help retain moisture, and prevent new weeds from sprouting. Just make sure you don’t actually cover any of your plants, blocking them from air and sunshine – this could cause them to rot. To learn more about the importance of mulch in the garden, check out this video from Moana Nursery in Reno: