Fall is here, and along with it comes stunning colors, crisp air…and landscaping chores. Prepping your garden design and yard for winter is critical for gardeners and landscapers looking to get a jump on spring beauty—and their neighbors.
To help your yard and garden design keep up with the Joneses, perform the following fall landscaping chores:
1. Get in the Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters is a time-honored (and, unfortunately, somewhat time-consuming) fall activity. So get the ladder out, climb up there, and empty out all the leaves and debris. Be careful on the ladder though, and move it often to avoid overstretching (the biggest cause of home ladder accidents). Once the gutters are clean of debris, run water from the hose through them to clean out any small remnants. While you’re up there, check for holes or misalignments that could cause dangerous ice patches around your home during the winter.
2. Mow Until you Can’t Mow Anymore
Leaving your grass long over winter can cause it to mat, which encourages growth problems in the spring. You also leave your lawn vulnerable to snow mold. Don’t mow the grass too short (about 3 inches is ideal), but continue to mow it for as long as it keeps growing.
3. Do a Soil Test
Fall is a great time to do a soil test. By determining your soil’s pH, you can correct any problems and get a leg-up on your spring lawn and garden design.
4. Aerate and Reseed
Aerating your lawn now will help water and seeds borough further into the ground (giving them a better chance of thriving). It will also increase needed oxygenation and build a better profile of healthy microorganisms. Once you’ve aerated, reseed your lawn (with about 3lbs of grass seed for every 1,000 square feet of lawn) to fill in any trampled, bare, or thinning areas.
5. Plan your Perennials
Fall is the perfect time to plan and plant perennials for your spring garden design. Look at which currently planted perennials can be divided and relocated to other parts of your garden. If you have more space than sections of divided plants then head to the store to pick up perennial seeds. While you’re at it, you may want to consider pulling out any annuals that have passed their peak and swapping them for fall-friendly plants like mums and pansies.
Trees and large shrubs should ideally be pruned before winter. A heavy pruning is generally preferred, however you may want to check recommendations for each bush. Pruning them will help give you the size you want in spring while also deterring snow and ice-induced damage. Be careful not to (over) prune your flowering plants (such as lilacs or hydrangeas), or you could spoil your garden design’s spring blooms.
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