Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Winter: 3 Steps to Fall Clean Up
Fall is the season for cider, spice, and everything nice. While one of the coziest seasons, it is also the season for yard cleanup and preparation for the coming seasons. So grab your favorite seasonal beverage and focus on these three areas to prepare for winter and make your spring projects a breeze.
The first sign of fall is watching the leaves change to those fall colors we know and love. This is also a sign to start preparing trees for winter. Trees go dormant in the winter, making it a great time to prune them. If you choose to chip the branches and mulch the leaves, you can put them to great use by spreading them at the base of your tree to help retain moisture and protect the root systems from severe temperatures. Enriching your soil with a slow release fertilizer in the fall will also help supply necessary nutrients throughout the winter, giving you happy, healthy trees in the spring! (Note: you may want to test your soil to ensure you don’t over fertilize)
Fall is also the best time to plant new trees as dormancy in the winter helps to prevent transplant shock. Planting in fall will also ensure your new trees avoid sun damage and drought.
We expect to do the bulk of our garden work in the spring, but putting in a little extra effort in the fall can take a lot of headache out of spring gardening. Fall is a great time to get some heavy weeding done. Removing problem weeds (that pesky morning glory for example), roots and all in the fall ensures they will not be able to establish over the winter, preventing them from overtaking your garden come spring. Once you have harvested all of your crops, it is a good time to fertilize and till the soil. Tilling in the fall opens and aerates the soil. If you till as deep as you can in the fall, you will only need a light turning in the spring, avoiding the fight with that mud and muck. Fertilizing before you till allows the fertilizer to begin enriching the soil, making it ready to nourish your plants come spring! If you need help choosing the appropriate fall fertilizer, check out this article from Average Person Gardening: Best Fertilizer For Grass In Fall. With this preparation in fall, your spring planting will be quick and effortless.
Yard Care and Winterization
As we well know, falling leaves also means raking leaves. It is important to rake the leaves from your lawn regularly in the fall to prevent smothering and molds. It is also important to keep up on your usual lawn maintenance into the fall season (don’t slack on your watering!). Your lawn will continue to grow until the first frost and long grass in the winter is prone to snow mold, so keep mowing your lawn. For more information on snow mold, check out this article from scotts.com: What Is Snow Mold on Grass. Fall is also the best season for seeding and fertilizing, preparing the grass for a healthy luscious growing season in the spring!