Get your landscape ready for next spring! We asked our staff to give us some of their go-to tips for fall clean up and getting the yard and landscape ready now for a beautiful spring!
Clean up your fall leaves.
Now is the time our trees start losing those beautifully colored leaves. Remember, those leaves contain an abundance of nutrients that are beneficial to your lawn and garden.
- Mulched leaves can be raked into your lawn in a thin layer to add an extra boost over the winter. You don’t want to leave un-mulched/whole leaves on your lawn as they won’t break down as quickly over the winter, which will damage your grass.
- Mulched or whole leaves can also be added to your garden soil as a natural, nutrient-dense soil amendment. Again, mulched leaves will break down faster in the soil than whole leaves.
Feed your lawn before the ground freezes.
- October/November is the time to give your lawn a final feeding before the ground freezes. A late fall feeding will give it the nutrients it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer, while enhancing root growth for a healthier, greener lawn next spring.
- In addition to a final fall feeding, correct any possible turf/grass issues with Gypsum. Gypsum can be used as a soil conditioner to help your lawn’s ability to absorb nutrients as it gets ready for winter. When combined with core aeration, it can also help reduce soil compaction and improve air and water penetration.
- For more Fall Lawn Care tips, see our Gardeners Blog!
Feed your trees and shrubs before the ground freezes.
Trees and shrubs will do better when they receive a dormant feeding. The nutrients provided will be absorbed into the roots and utilized during the winter months when the tree or shrub isn’t focused on foliage or flower development.
- When applying your fall feeding, a good rule of thumb is to apply the fertilizer at or near the tree’s or shrub’s ‘drip line.’
- Trees and shrubs will need their own feedings; relying on the fall feeding you give your lawn will not be enough for them.
- Be sure your trees and shrubs get enough water, too, going into the winter months.
Get those vegetable and herb beds ready for winter!
As the summer and fall vegetable season starts winding down, it’s time to prep the beds for winter.
- Start by raking out all spent, non-producing plants.
- Sprinkle the bed with an organic fertilizer to re-introduce beneficials to the soil then add a 1-inch layer of compost. This revives & refreshes soil. Broken down like this = less chance of weeds.
Add new plants or transplant existing plants in the landscape.
Fall weather provides the perfect climate to update your landscape.
- The air temperature begins to cool and the days begin to get shorter plus you have more reliable, natural rainfall. That allows your new beauties to focus their energy on getting established in their new space.
- Establishing in the fall season before going dormant for winter means they can start strong in the spring! While you may not see any top growth, the roots remain active under the ground and will continue to establish until the ground freezes.
- For more Fall Planting tips, see our Gardeners Blog!
Prep your landscape for winter.
- Be sure your perennials are ready for winter. While adding organic material like compost or mulched leaves to your garden beds can be helpful, feeding your perennials in the fall isn’t typically necessary. Fall feeding can lead to excess top growth while plants are trying to shut down.
- If you are someone who likes a tidy look to your landscape, fall is the time to prune back spent hostas, peonies, and other deciduous perennials. (Deciduous perennials are those that die back to the ground.) Ornamental grasses are known for their fall and winter interest so many people choose to leave their pruning until late winter or early spring.
- Evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and other broadleaf evergreens need extra protection over the winter. Winter sun and wind can cause the foliage to lose moisture that cannot be replaced since the roots are frozen. Protect these and other sensitive plants. In late fall, place cones over smaller plants. For larger plants, place stakes around the plant and wrap burlap around the stakes. You don’t want the burlap draped over the plant as this can cause damage when snow blankets the landscape in winter.
- If cones or burlap are not an option, you can also spray your evergreens and broadleaf evergreens with an anti-desiccant like Bonide Wilt Stop.
Plant spring flowering bulbs now for a colorful spring.
Whether you are planting a formal, dense garden setting, or adding a splash of color in naturalized areas, now is the perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth.
- Planting spring bulbs in the fall gives them the cooling off period they need to produce magnificent blooms in spring.
- You can plant them right up until the ground freezes.
- Plant your spring bulbs as soon as you can after bringing them home. Bulbs will get soft or moldy if kept ‘above ground’ over winter.
- For more tips on Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs, see our Gardeners Blog!