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Eliza Fournier on the Fall Harvest Season

Eliza Fournier from the Chicago Botanic Garden shares her fall harvest ideas, tips for planting for next spring, fall garden maintenance pointers, and more. Learn more about the plants Fournier harvested for Chicago Tonight and read extra gardening tips below.

Garlic and Shallots                               Allium                                                   Tulips




With the end of summer near, harvesting your garden is necessary. But a mass harvest could lead to an overabundance of produce. The best way to preserve your harvest is by freezing. According to Fournier, it is easy to freeze alomst everything from your garden. However, certain produce require different preparation before freezing. For example, when preserving parsley and basil, make sure the leaves are cleaned and dried. You can also prep harvest for later recipes. If you plan to make mid-winter zucchini bread, shred and package the harvested zucchini into 1 to 2 cup portions before freezing. Read our Homegrown zucchini bread recipe.

Garden Maintenance

In order to maintain a healthy harvest, a good gardner must tend to his/her garden. That is why regular maintenance is optimal. Fournier recommends you be careful when pruning shrubs for the last time. The goal is to avoid spring flowering shrubs like Lilac, Forsythia, and Viburnum. If you're harvesting houseplants, be sure to shower them before bringing them inside. The goal is to remove any bugs from the leaves and stems. Finish maintenance by planting new grass seed or lay sod on your lawn. Be sure to water it. Read our post on cleaning our garden.