Fall Yard Maintenance
- Home Owner Tips
- Monday, September 20, 2021
Fall is here, leaves are changing, and after the excitement of spring planting and the peak of summer harvest, you may be tempted to just walk away and let nature run its course. I mean, what else is there to do now that it’s almost time for the first frost? You have raking to do after all.
Not so fast, friend! There are plenty of things you should do to prepare your lawn, garden, and trees for winter, and for goodness’ sake – save those leaves.
Unless you have an actual ton of leaves that have fallen to the ground, put that rake away. Gather any large piles for your garden (more on that later), and instead of gathering them up for your green cart, run right over them with the lawn mower and “grass-cycle” them. Leave the grass and leaf clippings where they lay – the clippings will break down quickly, releasing nitrogen and returning nutrients to the soil, which will not only protect your lawn from the elements, but eliminate the need for fertilizer and water.
Read more about how to grass-cycle here.
Make your bed! Sure, you could simply harvest your garden and leave it for spring, but remember how exciting all that planting was? Prepare your garden in fall by turning over the soil and mixing in some nutrient-rich compost. How about those extra leaves? That’s right, you can mix shredded leaves right into the soil. Voila! Your garden is ready for spring planting.
But wait! Now is also the time to plant fall bulbs. Choose some bright and sunny spots in your garden beds and plant bulbs in groups of five to ten. They should be placed 2-4” into the ground, with the pointy side up. Then, just water and wait. When you see those buds start to poke up out of the soil, you’ll know it’s springtime.
Many people think trees are hardy, they just grow, and you don’t need to pay them much attention; however, regular tree maintenance is important if you want to keep them alive and flourishing.
First and foremost, young trees and shrubs are not as robust as those that are well-established. Before frost falls, cover vulnerable trees and other perennials with burlap and tarps that extend into the ground. This will help trap the earth’s warmth and shelter them from frost, ice, and snow.
Did you know that winter is great time to prune your trees? During winter, deciduous trees become dormant, which makes it a great time to prune them since they aren’t actively growing. According to the arborists at The City of Calgary, pruning should be done early in winter, when it’s mild. You should snip out anything dead and diseased but be careful to preserve the branches that affect the overall structure of the tree. Branches should be cut at the point where one branch meets another, and you should be very careful not to over-prune.