Fall is the perfect time to get your yard ready for winter. Trees, shrubs and perennials benefit from warm soils and beneficial autumn rainfall. Well-established plants will have a head start next spring. Perennials should be planted long before the end of October.
Install bulbs, trees, and shrubs that bloom in spring before the soil freezes. Mulching around plants during fall gardening has several advantages, from preventing soil erosion to eliminating weeds. Be sure to give cold-weather perennials and annuals a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to keep them healthy during the colder season. Mulching in the fall can also help reduce weed growth, leaving you with nothing to throw away in the spring.
In late fall, lower your lawn mower and mow your lawn 1 to 2 inches shorter than the rest of the growing season. Continue to mow the shorter lawn until the grass stops growing in early winter, when both you and your lawn go into hibernation mode. For that final cut, go a little lower. Clean, weed and fertilize Clean and weed all areas of your garden.
Rotate the soil while it's still easy to work with and you'll save yourself a lot of strenuous work in the spring. Finish off by covering weedless beds with a layer of organic fertilizer, such as chicken or ox manure. Mulch, mulch Once garden beds have been fertilized, cover them with fallen leaves or straw. Place a layer of mulch around trees and shrubs to protect them from freezing.
Fall annuals, such as pansies, are also a great addition to keeping some color in your garden while other plants fall asleep. Tackle these 15-minute yard maintenance projects now, and then you can rest easy once the temperature drops. In addition to attracting creatures to your garden, excessive debris can damage your garden drainage, leading to problems once all the snow melts. Take the time to clean your garden this fall and you'll be greeted by lush, green lawn in spring.
Take the work out of the garden with these clever tricks to speed things up and with these useful purchases that will increase your outdoor appeal. A garden fork will do the job for small patios, but larger patios may require a walk-in aerator, which should be available to rent for a reasonable price. You could even skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to cover the leaves in your garden. If you follow this checklist, you're sure to have a wonderfully winterized patio that's ready to surprise you with lush, green abundance once the warm weather returns.