As the last of the leaves come floating to the ground, the air chills, and the days shorten, dont forget to prepare your garden or landscaping for the snow and biting winds of winter. Fall landscaping work is all about the long game, which is why many homeowners look at the thermometer and decide more gardening can wait until spring. But all of those perennial flowers and shrubs you selected, planted, watered, and trimmed this spring and summer will bloom for you again even more beautifully with the right maintenance now.
What does fall landscape maintenance involve?
- Mulching – Adding several inches of mulch will both protect your plants from damaging wind and precipitation and keep the soil much warmer – allowing the organisms in the soil to continue doing their nourishing work well into the winter season. Shredded leaves are a great mulch that will both protect and add nutrients to the back to the soil.
- Trimming – Cutting back dead perennial stalks and deadheading flowers will make your garden look neater for winter, although you may want to leave some grasses or taller flowers for the birds and squirrels if you like to watch them from your windows in winter. Remove dead annuals and any dead branches on trees and shrubs. Save the pruning for later, though – except for roses; they can be cut back now.
- Wrapping – Surrounding your more tender shrubs and plants with an extra layer of burlap may make the difference between life and death, or at least maintain their attractiveness and vitality. You may have noticed many spruces and conifers were damaged last winter by the harsh temperatures and wind. Protect them this winter by wrapping them up – but not too tightly! While trees and shrubs are dormant in winter, they still need to breathe.
- Aerating – Giving the roots of your cool weather grasses more room to breathe and grow is an important fall task. Also, add grass seed to any bare areas, and fertilize where necessary.
If youve accomplished all that and still have some energy and vision left, fall is the time for transplanting, separating overgrown perennials, adding bulbs to your flower beds, and planting trees and shrubs. Remember to water anything you plant until the ground freezes. These plants still need the moisture, even if its no longer hot outside.
After youve got the above accomplished, it will be time to relax on the couch, sip hot cider, and wait about eight weeks for your seed and plant catalogs to arrive. Then you can begin dreaming again about planting, and weeding, and watering, and trimming…Until then, enjoy the break from outdoor chores. If we at Procare can help you at all with putting your garden to bed, dont hesitate to contact us. Thats what we are here for.