Fall is a feast for the eyes with red, gold and bronze hues. While enjoying the trees in their tawny splendour, consider these simple tips to prepare your garden for the upcoming winter.
Although a carpet of leaves is part of autumn’s glory, don’t let them sit too long. Rake them frequently as grass needs oxygen and sunlight for proper growth. This is also the time to seed your grass for a thick lush lawn in the spring, and to keep pesky weeds out.
Put leaves to work! Small leaves from birch, beech and silver maple trees (or shredded larger leaves) spread under shrubs and over soil will degrade into mineral nutrients and worms will turn them into fertilizer.
Pruning in the fall is important. With leaves cleared you have a better view of your plants. Cut off dead and diseased branches. Remove diseased leaves from under roses (blackspot) and dispose of in the garbage (not your compost heap) or they’ll re-infect plants the following spring. If you decide to re-arrange plants or shrubs, move them while the earth is still warm so that the roots can take hold. Protect delicate shrubs with burlap.
If you want to see crocus, tulips and daffodils peeping through the soil in spring, now is the time to start planting. Buy the very best quality bulbs and you will be rewarded with showy blooms in the spring. Check with a local horticulturalist for native bulb options and ideal planting conditions.
Fill your balcony or patio containers with fall flowers. Picture a pot filled with Vanilla Butterfly (marguerite daisy), with a background of Orange Sedge – this olive green grass turns orange in cool weather, finally fading to bronze. Want an instant conversation piece? Plant ornamental Kale (winter cabbage) in your container: its quirky look is an attention-getter.