It’s that time of year again!
It’s that time of year where the red, orange, and yellows come out to play in our plants! Where our lawns are covered in leaves and the hot summer air makes way for crisper, cooler air. It’s Fall! Even though you may want to revel in the colour or drink beverages laced with pumpkin spice by the bonfire, Fall calls for some prep to get your lawn and your plants ready for the winter!!
Prepare the grass!
Fall is a great time to get your lawn ready for spring! All that moisture that comes with cooler temperatures can help your seed take root before winter covers it in a white blanket of snow! Over seed thin areas of your grass and bare spots so that by spring your grass is looking full and healthy!
It doesn’t hurt to aerate and add some Fall fertilizers as well. Go to your local home improvement or gardening store and you can find fertilizer that is specifically for Fall. Don’t wait to do this at the end of Fall closer to the Winter season when it’s too cold outside. Freezing temperatures are too cold for seeds to germinate.
Fall is a great time to lay sod! In the summer months, it can be really hot and dry, meaning you have to make sure you water your sod a lot! If you don’t, the sod will dry up and die. In the Fall, cooler temperatures, and more rain, means less watering on your part and a better atmosphere for your sod to root itself in the soil underneath. If you’re looking to get sod put in for your lawn go to www.nexsteplandscaping.com and contact us through our contact page!
Planting in the Fall!
Do you like daffodils or tulips? These bulbs should be planted in your garden in the Fall so that they are ready to go in the spring! Make sure you put them down deep enough that little critters won’t dig them up and so top frost doesn’t get them. When in doubt read the packaging! It tells you how far to bury the bulb so it’ll be nice and cozy in the soil and away from squirrels and other thieving critters. Bulbs like to be planted in cooler temperatures but before the ground freezes. September and October are good months. November is too late! This is a nice little resource that tells you what flowers are good to plant in the Fall: https://www.americanmeadows.com/flower-bulbs/fall-flower-bulbs .
You can also plant a Fall vegetable garden. Some vegetables enjoy cooler temperatures. For more information, you can check out this webpage with 21 vegetables you can grow in the Fall: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2015/08/vegetables-fall-garden.html .
But this post is about preparing your yard for the bitter cold of winter so that’s all I’ll add on the fall gardening subject!
Getting your plants and trees snuggled up for the winter!
Some plants don’t do well in the winter months so near the end of Fall is a great time to start bringing potted perennials inside. Annuals of course only last for the spring and summer seasons and must be replanted the next year.
Now all plants are different. Your best defense against Winter’s bitter attack on your plants is to research what your plants are and what temperatures they can withstand!
Some plants can withstand the cold if you cover their base with mulch. Three inches of mulch around plants protects their roots from top frost and acts as an insulating barrier between their roots and the cold. Young trees especially benefit from mulch around their trunk. A good 8 inches helps protect their roots from frost. Remove the mulch in the spring though, trees and plants need room once temperatures rise. A little mulch in the summer is okay around plants. But try to leave space between mulch and the base of a tree so it can get enough water.
Others will need to be wrapped in burlap to keep them safe from frost nipping at their branches. Trees may need their trunks wrapped in burlap to not only protect from the cold but from sunscald (too much focussed sunlight that can cause serious damage to trunks and other plants). It may be cold but the sun’s rays reflecting off the snow can be a problem for your plants. For more information check the sunscald wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_scald .
Burlap and wire can be put around trunks to protect them from hungry wildlife as well. With not as many food sources available in the winter animals like deer, rabbits and mice enjoy their fair share of bark, roots and other foliage to get them through the winter months. May be good for the animals but it can do a lot of damage to your trees.
I cannot say it enough! Research the plants in your yard! What temperatures can they withstand? Every plant is different and has their own needs.
Now that your lawn is ready and your plants are snuggled enjoy the Fall months! Soon those beautiful colours will dry up into dull browns and the snow will fall! You can rest easy at night knowing that, come Spring, your yard will look amazing!
Have other Fall yard prep ideas? Please leave the ideas in the comments section!