Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put away your gardening tools! There are lots of things to be done in the fall to prepare your landscape for next season!
1. Keep Up on Maintenance
Keep mowing your lawn until the first frost, and check the yard over for weeds. Remove the weeds as needed, so they won’t return in the spring. As leaves fall, rake them regularly to keep the grass healthy underneath. Leaves can smother and kill your grass if left on the lawn, so make sure removal is part of your fall schedule. Pruning is also an important part of fall cleanup. Remove any dead or diseased wood. Also remove any branches that might become a safety hazard when the snow and ice come!
2. Plant for Spring Color
Plant bulbs now for spring bloom! Many bulbs can be planted in the fall including tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. When planting, make sure to plant only healthy bulbs! Any bulbs with soft or spongey feeling spots should be thrown away.
3. Prepare Your Deck or Patio
Remove furniture and store it for the winter. Before storing, clean the furniture properly. Then use a broom to sweep away leaves, needles, and other debris that can stain the surface of your outdoor area.
4. Care for Tools
Disconnect and drain hoses at the end of the season, then store them inside before winter. Sharpen or replace blades on any tools that cut or dig. Always make sure to wear heavy gloves to protect yourself while sharpening.
5. Perennial Cleanup
Perennial cleanup is a personal preference. Some people like seeing perennials standing during winter, others don’t. If you do want to remove them, wait until after the plants have gone dormant, and cut down to within 2-3 inches of the crown. If you had perennials that were bothered by foliage diseases during the growing season, removing the old foliage can be beneficial. This reduces the amount of inoculum that is present to re-infest next year’s growth.