Get Your Yard Ready for Fall

The leaves are turning and the air is becoming more brisk as it blows across your path. All the lovely plants and flowers you have cared for all summer are starting to curl up and begin preparation for winter. It's time for you to do everything you can to help get your garden ready for Autumn.

  1. Caring for your lawn at this time of year will yield maximum results when the Spring season starts. Apply herbicides now to control weed infestations. Aerate compacted or thatched soil and apply fertilizer to provide nutrients, the improvement will be seen quickly as the grass responds and turns a healthy, vibrant green.

  2. Use the lawn mower to mulch or remove dead leaves in order to prevent them from smothering the grass. In this cooler season, lawns are best kept at a 2 to 3 inch height. If your lawn did not have good colour during the summer, this might indicate soil compaction. Spiking your lawn now will allow the grass roots to grow deeper into the soil maintaining a better colour for next year.

  3. Houseplants that have spent the summer outside in the garden must be moved indoors in time for them to readjust before the heat is turned on. Lost leaves or browning around the edges of the leaves on some plants is a normal indication of their internal adjustment to lower light and humidity levels indoors.

  4. Harvest tender bulbs from plants that you want to bloom in the spring. Let the bulbs dry out in the sun for a few hours before storing them in a cool, dry place for the winter. Be sure to plant hardy spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils while the soil remains manageable.  

  5. Final winterizing of your roses is usually done after a deep frost, but tying the canes loosely now will make your job easier later. Cut plants back to 18-24 inches and create a mound of soil over the crown of the bushes. Once the soil has frozen, add an additional layer of compost.

  6. Build some windbreaks to protect young, tender plantings from drying winter winds and beating snow. Anything that encourages snow accumulation away from the plants will help provide excellent protection against low temperatures or wind damage.

  7. Many perennials such as delphinium and hosta look messy during the cold weather months, so you’ll want to cut them back to about 6-8 inches from the ground. This is a great time for dividing your perennials, which not only maintains the health of your plants but is an easy way to spread out their growth providing more coverage next season.

  8. Remove any weeds and left over annuals from the garden, dead plants provide winter hiding places for insects and disease which can cause problems in the spring. Turn the soil over in vegetable and flower gardens, adding dead leaves which will provide rich nutrients to the soil throughout the winter.

  9. It’s a good idea to water your garden thoroughly before the ground freezes. Even with snow, winter can be very dry and harsh for many trees and shrubs so make sure you provide them with a large supply of moisture before the extreme winter weather arrives.

  10. Finally, to stretch out flowering a couple more weeks in the autumn, covering plants with plastic or cloth sheets or newspaper will provide protection against the initial frosts. If your unprotected plants become damaged by frosts, try hosing them with water before the sun rises to extend their lifespan a little.

Taking care of your garden now will ensure a beautiful vibrant garden next spring, so take some time to lovingly prepare your flowers and plants for the coming colder months.

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The Hisey-McDermott Team

The Hisey-McDermott Team

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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