Dropping temps and dropping leaves mean it’s time to get busy in your landscape. Give your lawn and garden a final spruce up before winter. When spring rolls around your outdoor area will be thriving and lush.
Tidy up first. Before you start working on your plants, experts advise that you take some time to perform a general clean up in your garden and landscape. If you have trellises or other plant supports, remove and clean them with bleach water before storing them until next year. It’s also time to bring in containers that may crack with the freeze and thaw patterns of winter. Then clean up dead plants and remove fruits and vegetables that are past their prime. As long as they were healthy, add them to a compost bin. Burn or otherwise dispose of unhealthy plant material so that you don’t pass the troubles on next year.
Groom your garden. Once you have your general tasks done it’s time to start prepping your garden for the next season. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has some great ideas:
- Till the soil in your vegetable garden. Gently turning the dirt will disrupt pests and expose them to cold winter temperatures.
- Amend the soil with compost, leaves, manure or lime. Work the material gently into the soil.
- Water perennials and flowering shrubs to give them a final boost for the season.
- Prepare unstarted flower beds with mulch or plastic to discourage early growth next year.
- Remove dead limbs from trees and shrubs. Be careful of limbs that may fall on your house or otherwise cause damage. If you can’t do this safely yourself, hire a professional.
- Consider adding new perennials. Planting in early fall allows the roots of new plants to become established before winter. Experts say it’s also a great time to find bargains on new plants. Nurseries often offer their stock at clearance prices in autumn.
Love on your lawn. Fall is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for next spring. The professionals at This Old House have these terrific tips:
- Keep mowing. Continue trimming your lawn until it is no longer growing, which is usually after a hard frost.
- Aerate soil. Plan to aerate your soil every two years to keep the ground healthy. It’s best to fertilize after aerating.
- Sow seeds. By sowing grass seeds now you take advantage of cooler nights, warm soil and enough moisture to help them germinate. You’ll have a denser growing lawn which will help choke out weeds next year.
- Remove leaves. Fallen leaves will draw pests, harbor mold, and suffocate your grass. Be sure to rake and remove them.
What will you do with all those leaves? You have options! Check out these great suggestions from experts at The Spruce:
- Compost. Fallen leaves are a fantastic addition to your compost bin, especially if you shred them when you mow.
- Leaf mold. Pile your leaves up and leave them for a year, then use the material to amend your soil.
- Create mulch for under trees, shrubs and in other parts of your garden and landscaping.
- Save some for next spring to add to your compost bin. You can store them in a trash bag.
- Mow them. If you chop up your leaves with the mower you can leave them on your lawn to decompose over winter.
Get on top of fall chores. Tidy up your outdoor areas, groom your garden, and love on your lawn. By following these tips you will be organized this autumn and your lawn and garden will be in top shape next spring.
Article kindly written by Clara Beaufort expressly for www.gardenoasis.net