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Garden Center

Contact Us
Pro Service Desk(910)790-7404
Tool & Truck Rental(910)790-7402
Store Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am - 9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am - 8:00pm
Curbside: 09:00am - 6:00pm
210 Eastwood Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403
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The Home Depot Garden Center at Wilmington

When a cool day breezes in, hinting at the seasonal change, take advantage of it to do outdoor maintenance. Trees and bushes need a trim with a chainsaw or pruner as they're slowing growth for the season. Leaf maintenance is likely a concern, so check out leaf blowers, rakes, and lawn bags. You should also find a wheelbarrow and buckets to contain the bounty of fall harvest. Read on to learn how to transition your fall lawn and garden into wintertime.

Fertilize or Patch Your Lawn
Patch bald spots on your lawn by overseeding them. Autumn is a great time to fill in brown or bare places in your yard. However, make sure leaves don't land on freshly seeded areas. New grass seed needs water, air, and sun to grow, and leaf litter can block out the air and sunlight it needs to germinate.

If your lawn is in good shape, make sure it stays that way by applying lawn fertilizer if you have cool-season grass. Aerate your lawn before adding fertilizer to get those nutrients down near the roots right away. Water your cool-season lawn regularly and tend to any pesky fall weeds that show up. Warm-season varieties, like those in the southern states, are winding down their growth for the year. It's better not to fertilize it now, as you don't want fresh grass growing right before it goes dormant. Taper down watering on warm-season lawns.

Plant Flower Bulbs
If you've got your eye on spring-blooming bulb plants, get those planted soon. Although their roots look different because they sprout from bulbs and not just below the stem, they still need time to grow downward. Check your plant hardiness zone before planting. In colder climates, certain bulb plants should be planted in spring instead. Find ideas for spring flowering bulbs and plan your tulip, iris, and daffodil displays now. Garlic and onions can go in, too, but won't need soil additives.

Encourage deep roots by sprinkling bone meal in the surrounding soil before you plant the flowers. Follow the instructions on the package and do not apply more than recommended. If you do add more, you may end up with a tulip plant with one or two massive leaves and no flowers, for example.

There are cases where you can use something else and skip the bone meal. If you've already got very healthy soil that's full of rich nutrients and compost, just plant the flower bulbs. Superphosphate is an option if your dog tries to dig up the bone meal and bulbs. It's also smart to use the phosphate if your property has raccoons, mice, or squirrels who may, like your pets, want to dig up the bone meal and bulbs for a tasty snack.

Cut and Cover Perennials
If your climate zone allows for sturdy perennials to poke up in the spring, make sure they've established strong roots before the ground freezes. Check your average freeze date when planting fall perennials, then aim to have them in the ground six weeks before that. Then, winterize your garden by cutting and covering.

If you're in a cold climate and ready to help your perennials overwinter, cut them back all the way down to the ground level. Then, just as you tuck someone under a comforter, cover your plants with a thick blanket of mulch that's 2 to 3 inches deep. This will protect delicate root systems from harsh temperatures. Don't mound it around the stems though, as it can suffocate the plants. Read these other fall-planted perennial tips, too.

Put the Garden to Bed
When the sun angle changes and your annuals start looking rougher, it's time to dig up the plants. Northern climates may be putting the garden to bed for the season in October or November, while warmer climates might wait until November or December. After your annuals are done blooming for the year, dig them up, then chop and dispose of the detritus, or dead plant debris. You can let them return their nutrients to the soil, but there are two exceptions: if your plants dealt with blight or if you had a snail problem.

After you've removed the old plants, you've got a clean slate. Prepare your garden bed for the spring by rotating the soil with a shovel or renting a rototiller. You want to loosen the earth so the topsoil goes down and the deeper soil comes up. It lets the soil rest and helps nutrients penetrate. It's also an excellent opportunity to test the soil and see what, if any, soil amendments you need. Different crops and plants use different nutrients. Test your soil to see if it's balanced or if you ought to restore certain nutrients that have been depleted.

Indoor Gardening
Gardeners with potted plants can extend their growing season by bringing the plants indoors to a sunny window. Indoor gardening allows both outdoor plants to live longer and indoor plants to bring joy into your home. Just make sure they get enough water now that they won't benefit from rainfall, and rotate them regularly to give all leaves equal sunlight for photosynthesis. Remember to place decorative dishes beneath them if the pots don't have built-in overflow dishes to catch any extra water.

Warm the Outdoors with a Patio Heater
Stretch out your fall evenings with a patio heater, outdoor fireplace, or fire pit to take off the chill. No matter if you're looking for outdoor heaters for decks, small patios, or cozy porches, we've got options. All you have to do is pick the one that matches your decor style.

We've got fire bowls and fire pit tables ready to warm your outdoor space. Check out stylish propane fire pits and natural gas fire pits in a variety of shapes. We've also got woodburning fire pits and the firewood to stoke them. You can even build your own with fire pit kits or make it completely custom and learn how to build an in-ground fire pit to your exact specifications. Find more fire pit ideas or stop by your closest garden center to see what's in stock.

Ease Into Autumn
This fall, prepare your plants and flowers for the seasonal change with us. We've got everything you need for leaf cleanup, putting the garden to bed, and restoring nutrients to your soil so it's ready for next spring. Shop our wide variety of fall garden care and outdoor living products in your Wilmington store, online, or in our mobile app.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gardening

How can I clear fall leaves from my lawn?

Stay on top of leaf maintenance with just a few tools. For a classic method, rake the leaves. We've also got leaf blowers if you prefer an outdoor power tool instead.

How do I pick my produce at harvest time?

To pick the fruit you grew straight from the tree or vine, you may need two hands. Brush aside any leaves and pinch the stem tightly just above the fruit. Then with your dominant hand, twist the fruit. Keep rotating the produce, watching the stem twist, until it breaks loose.

How do I store my trimmers and mowers for the winter?

To maintain outdoor power equipment, clean it before you store it. Check the manufacturer's website or your owner's manual for info on caring for a certain tool, like removing grass from lawn mower blades or oiling a chainsaw chain. To shut down gas-powered outdoor power equipment for the season, run each tool at an idle until the gas is gone and change the oil so it's ready in the spring. For electric tools, remove the battery, put it in its storage case, and store it where it won't freeze — usually away from the tools themselves. It's a bit labor-intensive now, but you'll be glad you maintained your tools when you use them again.

How do I prepare outdoor taps for winter?

Prepare your outdoor spigots for freezing temperatures by draining and covering them with faucet covers. Shutting down the outdoor tap can be put off until watering the garden or washing the car is done for the year, but don't wait until the temps drop into the 40s. With all hoses disconnected, turn off the indoor valves that control the spigots, then run the water until it stops. If you have pop-up sprinklers or a drip-irrigation system, drain those as well as per the manufacturer's instructions. You may need an air compressor to remove every drop of water.

What tools do I need for snow removal?

In climates where it gets cold and snowy, now is the time to prepare your snow removal tools. Snow blowers are great, but keep an ice scraper and snow shovel to chip away ice patches and clear trouble spots. Explore the best snow and ice removal tools for your home. Find lightweight cordless and electric snow blowers as well as gas snow blowers. Rock salt and ice melt can clear walkways with less effort and help keep you safer when you make quick trips to the mailbox. Shop now before the weather cools more and the snow rolls in.

Nearby Stores

5511 Carolina Beach Road

Wilmington, NC 28412

7.42 mi

Tool & Truck Rental

Pro Service Desk


Mon-Sat: 6:00am - 9:00pm

Sun: 8:00am - 8:00pm

150 Shallotte Crossing Pkwy, Ste 1

Shallotte, NC 28470

34.23 mi

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Mon-Sat: 6:00am - 9:00pm

Sun: 8:00am - 8:00pm

479 Western Blvd

Jacksonville, NC 28546

45.56 mi

Tool & Truck Rental


Pro Service Desk


Mon-Sat: 6:00am - 9:00pm

Sun: 8:00am - 8:00pm