As is the case with spring, the fall season is a one of change and transition. Whereas in spring the weather turns from cold to warm and all things blossom, fall is the opposite. In fall, all things shed their foliage and prepare to hibernate through the winter.
This being said, fall is as vital for your landscape, just like spring. This season is an opportunity to do three things: clean up your yard before the winter snows begin to fall, protect your landscape in winter, and, believe it or not, prep your yard for the coming spring season.
Below you will see easy tips to help you implement each of these three vital tasks. You should begin thinking about these things even now, as summer ends and autumn may be in the air but is not quite here just yet.
Yard Cleaning Tips
- Get rid of any dead or dying annuals. These will not sprout again the following year and are an eye-sore throughout winter.
- Rake all leaves. Though tempting, leaving them until the coming spring could result in mold spores, bug infestations, and slipping hazards throughout winter.
Winter Protection Tips
- Mulching your flowerbeds in fall is a more promising idea than waiting for spring because it will help to protect your plant’s and/or flower’s roots during frosts.
- Cover small plants with overturned flower pots.
- Wrap large shrubs in burlap to protect from ice or heavy snow.
- Place thick layers of shredded leaves around vulnerable trees. This is not necessary for hardy tree species, however. Alternatively, you can use wood chips or shavings, like mulch. Aim for two to three inches of coverage.
- If you use an irrigation system, remember to drain it completely. This includes your hose! Any water that is left inside irrigation systems will freeze when the temperature drops low enough. Frozen water expands, thus causing significant damage to systems.
Prep for Spring Tips
- Early fall is the perfect time to plant small shrubs or trees, as this season is easier on them than the harsh summer. Even better, nurseries will be emptying their shelves, so you could pay a fraction of the cost you would in warmer weather.
- If you don’t have at least one or two already, now is the perfect time to consider planting an evergreen tree, shrub, or plant species. This allows for just a small splash of color in your yard during the stark winter months.
- Fertilize your flowerbeds in early fall to allow for healthy roots and seeds come spring.
- Don’t allow your lawn to get out of hand during fall! This is a common mistake for homeowners. While your lawn may not need weekly mowing like it does in the summer, you should continue mowing your lawn as needed. This may range from once every week to once every month during the fall, depending on the type of grass.
Implementing these tips can help you make the most of your landscape in the winter months. Cleaning up and protecting your landscape against the harsh winter while also preparing for spring can easily be all completed and covered by the end of the fall season.