Winter is coming, and the hard work of preparing your garden for the harsh weather has already begun. Despite the difficult and time consuming work, fall is the perfect time to make the most of any remaining sunshine and good weather, so it’s not all bad! There’s plenty of landscaping jobs to be done in any garden during the fall season, including preparing your plants and lawn for winter. Don’t forget that this is also one of the best times for planting new trees, shrubs and plants.
If you live in an area like ours, with cold winters, fall can be one of the best times to plant new trees. Evergreen trees are especially suited to being planted in early fall, but deciduous trees can also grow successfully when planted during late fall. The key to planting a tree at the right time is to find out when it becomes dormant.
If you do add a new tree to your garden landscape this fall, make sure you water it regularly before the winter snow arrives. It’s also a good idea to feed existing trees. Root stimulants are best for new trees, while more established trees require a stronger fertilizer.
Fall is a great time to seed a new lawn, especially when using “cool-season” grasses. This is partly because some weeds die by this point in the year, so there’s less competition for your new grass. Over seeding a lawn, which simply involves putting extra seed over an existing lawn to cover any bald batches, is also most effective during fall. Keep in mind that if your lawn is showing significant wear and tear it may be best to completely reseed it rather than attempting to over seed.
There are a number of plants that either flower in fall or have flowers all year around. Planting colorful fall plants provides an interesting counterpoint to the orange and brown of falling leaves, and can turn your garden from dull to interesting relatively easily. Examples of trees and shrubs with color in fall include chokeberry, bayberry, red maples and ash trees. Flowers such as pansies and garden mums also do well during the fall months.
Adding new and exciting plants to your garden is always satisfying, but it’s also essential to prepare the rest of your garden for the winter months. Tasks you may need to perform include dividing any spring plants, bringing warmer climate plants into a greenhouse and removing any dead or excess foliage from perennial plants. It’s also important to rake up any leaves that fall into your lawn. Grass needs air and sunlight for a burst of growth during fall, and a heavy layer of leaves can prevent this. Most experts recommend raking new leaves every three or four days.
It’s easy to overlook any remaining weeds during the fall season. The fall season is actually one of the best for getting rid of troublesome weeds though, so don’t forget to apply weed killer before the snow starts to appear. During fall, weeds are trying to take in large amounts of nutrients to store for the winter, which means they also take on the weed killer at the same time.