Fall isn’t the time to hang up those comfy gardening gloves if you want to ensure a healthy green space, trees, shrubs, lawn and early spring blooming flowers like snowdrops, daffodils, and tulips. There are many tasks that need to be completed before mid-autumn to harden off and resume growing after cold-weather transitions to spring.
1. Continue to rake. Dead leaves on your lawn and in your garden are unsightly and they are bad for the grass and other plants that will want to grow there come spring. Piled, compacted leaves smother the grass by cutting off air flow. Matted piles of leaves may also lead to snow mold and fungal infection.
2. Protect your garden. Installing a deer fence where your garden is most vulnerable is one of the most effective must-do’s you can undertake to ensure that your piece of the planet is well-maintained and ready to thrive again in the spring.
3. Keep pulling those weeds. Weeding is just one of those chores that never really ends. They are tenacious, those weeds, and will take advantage of your moment of relaxation, so don’t let it happen. Continue to pull them up as long as you’re able to, during autumn and into winter if necessary, so you’ll have less to do in the springtime.
4. Remember to plant spring bulbs. When winter first arrives, it’s difficult to think about the gloriousness and warmth of spring. However, now is the time to plan ahead and plant bulbs such as crocuses and snowdrops. When you see these colorful flowers peeking through the frost, you’ll know that spring is on its way.
5. Properly store tools. It would be difficult to do any yard or garden work at all if not for the help of tools like rakes, shovels, and spades. These tools can take a beating after a season or two, so before packing them away into shed-oblivion, be sure they are clean, organized, and ready to go next year.
6. Aerate the lawn. By core aerating the soil now, eager weeds won’t have the opportunity or timeline to infiltrate your lawn or garden in the newly created holes. In the fall, weed seeds are nominal and the grass continues to grow, giving you an advantage now over the spring.
7. Mulch the leaves. You can mulch the leaves on your lawn by lowering the lawn mower and running over them with it a few times. This will create tiny bits of leaves you can sprinkle over new plantings as added winter insulation. The mulch will also create a healthier environment for beneficial microbes and earthworms, in turn creating a healthier, more receptive soil.
8. Fertilize the lawn. The fall is the perfect time for lawn fertilization because the cooler temperatures are conducive to root growth and with the grass continuing to grow, fertilization will mean for a healthier, more robust lawn once the snow clears.
9. Properly store the lawn mower. The last thing you want to do is put your lawn mower away without performing any winter maintenance on it. Run the mower to make sure all of the fuel is out. Fuel left in it over the winter can damage the carburetor. Be sure to replace the air filter, drain the oil, clean the undercarriage, and remove the blade for future sharpening.
10. Protect the young trees. Young, newly planted trees such as ash, linden, and maple, are susceptible to damage by fluctuating temperatures and wildlife creatures that will gnaw on the bark. Wrap them from the bottom up to keep them safe.
11. Take care of your outside water equipment. An automatic irrigation system will need to be blown out with compressed air so that water does not freeze in the pipes. Be sure to shut off any outside water lines before the cold weather hits.
12. Select a bird feeder. Enjoy winter a little bit more by adding a bird feeder to attract some of the countless colorful winter birds. With a number of feeders to choose from, you can opt for those that will be agreeable with the birds in your area and make a hobby out of spotting birds you’ve never seen before.
A gorgeous and bountiful spring garden doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work and planning which starts now. Before the bitter winds blow and the frigid snow flies, button up your lawn properly so you can prepare for a glorious, dazzling spring garden.