The Northern Hemisphere officially marks the close of summer on September 23rd this year, while most of us consider Labor Day to be the end of all things summer-related. While some of us look forward to the fall season and all approaching holidays, some are left with a feeling of concern, confusion or dread as we worry about our gardens!
Navigating the changing of the seasons, for the garden lovers among us, entails more than just pulling your favorite pea coat or scarf out of the closet. In fact, the transition from summer to fall requires some careful consideration.
If you are ready to welcome fall but worried about protecting your garden from dropping temps and changing weather conditions, no need to fret, your neighborhood lawn care professionals at Spring-Green are here with all the tips and expert guidance you need. Now, you can get to planning your fall festivities.
The Tips You Need to Get Your Garden Ready for Fall
- Clear the way for the fall season. As we put our swimming suits away for the remainder of the year, it’s also a good time to clear out your garden. A key part of your fall garden preparation should include clearing away debris such as twigs, branches, leaves as well as dead or diseased plants. While you’re in the process of prepping your garden for fall and winter, keep in mind that you can add dead vegetable plants and annuals to your compost pile. Note: if the plants you are removing are diseased, it’s best not to add them to your composting efforts.
- Tidy up your outdoor area. While you are outside removing dead plants and debris, take a look around at your garden area for equipment that should be stored away for colder seasons. Take a few moments to clean your equipment and place it away to protect them from the elements and have them ready for easy access when the temps begin to drop again.
- Consider composting. Fall is the perfect time of year to add compost to your garden. Especially if you are not using mulch, your garden will benefit from two to three inches of compost on the growing beds. Composting is not only good for the environment, but it is an excellent way to set your garden up for success in fighting diseases and retaining moisture – just to name a few benefits.
- Protect your trees before winter arrives. Fall brings festivals, pumpkins and stunning foliage, and right on the heels of fall come freezing temps. Even before the first day of winter, your garden might face cold rains and gusty winds that are especially problematic for any new trees that you have planted during the warmer seasons. Staking young trees is an excellent way to keep them safe during fall and winter, and you might even consider a breathable vinyl or fabric tree wrap to protect them from rodents that often damage bark during winter.
- Planting in the fall, yes you can. Planting in the fall can set you up for a stunning show of spring flowers, making right now the perfect time to explore planting flower bulbs such as crocus, tulips and daffodils as well as garlic and onions. Growing zones vary but typically optimal times to plant fall in mid-October and early to mid-November. Most definitely, you’ll want to do your planting before the ground freezes and protect your planting efforts with mulch. Fall mums also keep you garden looking colorful in the fall.
- Divide and conquer your perennials. Fall is a great time to divide and trim (not really conquer) your perennial plants. Once you’ve divided those perennials that have become overcrowded, you can transplant to places in your garden where there will be mulch to protect them during winter. For the perennial plants that have turned yellow or brown, fall marks the perfect time cut them back as you prep for colder months ahead.
- Feed your soil. Many gardeners mistakenly think that adding nutrients to the soil is solely reserved for spring. To the contrary, fall is an excellent time to nurture your soil like manure, compost, bone meal, kelp and rock phosphate. Turning or tilling your soil at this time of year can also improve drainage before extreme weather inevitably comes our way.
Each season requires special attention for our gardens to keep them healthy, thriving and enjoyable year-round. As we make our yearly entrance into the fall season, you can grab these tips to get your garden ready for the colder months ahead.
Since 1977, our pros have been standing by to help with homeowners and business owners with their lawn care needs. Our reputation is founded on quality customer service, so we work hard to understand your needs and create a plan that exceeds your expectations. Happy fall!