You’ve slaved over your garden and kept your lawn freshly cut and watered all summer. But now the leaves are changing colors and sprinkling the yard, and cooler weather is in the air. To help your landscape makes the transition from summer to fall, here’s a checklist to keep in mind to ensure it will survive the winter months ahead.
Keep mowing and watering your lawn and kill any weeds such as dandelions before they have a chance to come back next spring. You can do this by creating a friendly environment for birds. If you keep them well fed, they’ll help control pests and reduce your need to spray.
In order to have the best looking yard come spring time, you’ll need to fertilize the lawn so it can store nutrients during the winter months. To thicken your grass, try aerating it by poking holes in the soil to allow water to drain and give oxygen as well as fertilizer to the roots. Fall is the best time to do this because the roots grow quicker during the colder months.
It turns out that you don’t even have to rake them to put your leaves to good use. “If you run over them with a mower, they’ll break down over the winter, providing your soil with nutrients,” says The Spruce. You can also shred your leaves and make a compost or organic mulch out of them. If you don’t mow over them however, you’ll need to repeatedly rake them up before they become wet and suffocate the grass.
Fall is the best time to plan the landscape of your garden because growth has slowed and many plants have become dormant. So feel free to re-pot and move your plants as you please, pruning any flowering trees and shrubs, as well as cutting off dead branches. Be mindful to wipe off your pruners before you use them on other plants throughout your garden.
Of course, you’ll still need to weed and water until your garden is no longer producing. Then it’s time to dig it up and loosen the soil for next year. According to the DIY Network, planting bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, irises, and lilies during the fall months will make for a brighter garden when spring rolls around. However, you should dig up and store any delicate bulbs that won’t survive the harsher winter weather, and acknowledge the seasonal change by replacing any summer annuals with more winterized plants.
Mulch protects your plants and keeps your yard looking tidy, but fallen leaves can also do the trick at staving off weeds, as well as warming the soil near the roots from the chilly air.
Lastly, remember to empty your hoses and store them in a dry place, as well as move any tropical container plants indoors where they’re more likely survive the sudden temperature drop.
By prepping your lawn and garden for fall and winter, you’ll be ready to jump back into a beautiful landscape once spring arrives.
Featured image from @growing_family
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