As the summer heat dwindles down, it’s time to begin preparing your garden for the colder weather. Some may leave their garden as-is for the winter, just opting to deal with the task in the spring. Others decide to be proactive and get their garden ready for the fall. If you are the later, here are our favorite tips for fall prep:
Check Out the Condition
The end of the season is the best time to assess how well your garden did this year. Observe which plants were most successful, and which ones you possibly won’t attempt to grow again next season. If it turns out that one of your perennials is overgrown, it might be time to divide them so they don’t take up as much real estate next season. Assessing your garden now is a great way to make your plan for the spring to make an even more beautiful garden!
Fall Flowers to Plant
If you have some open space in your garden at the end of the season, consider a few fall flowers. Blooms like tulips, hyacinths, scilla and snowdrops actually thrive when they’re planted when evening temperatures average between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to American Meadows. Plant your fall bulb flowers in clusters and be sure not to plant them too deep or too high under the dirt. Between 4 and 8 inches is ideal for most. They won’t blossom until next spring, but that’s one job already done for the next gardening season!
Caring for Current Flowers
While you may be tempted to prune your rose bush when you remove the last flowers of the season for your fall flower arrangements, try to restrain yourself! Pruning a rose bush stimulates new growth, which will likely die during the winter. If you didn’t prune your roses at the end of the summer, hold off until the spring. Your bush will be better off.
It’s also important to thoroughly weed your garden before you put it to rest for the season. After all, weeds seem able to withstand anything – even harsh winter conditions. Weeding now will prove to be worth it when you don’t have to spend hours doing so when you begin planting your flowers in the spring.
Put Those Leaves to Good Use
Your best bet for having a blossoming garden next spring is to make sure your soil is in peak condition. Dig up any bulbs that can’t withstand cold weather, like gladioli and any annuals. Hold on to the seeds, though so you can replant them next spring. If you’re bringing perennial bulbs indoors for the winter, store them in a cool, dark place, like a cellar or refrigerator. If you’re leaving them in the ground, trim them up.
Instead of going to the nursery and spending big bucks on compost, simply use those leaves that fell off your tree. Mulch your leaves using your lawn mower to shred them before putting them on top of your garden. Smaller leaves will break down more easily throughout the winter, so you won’t have to deal with removing the leaves when you begin planting next spring!
Bring It Indoors
Too many people toss their potted annuals at the end of the summer, not knowing that they can extend many of these plant’s lives indoors during the winter. Simply take a few cuttings from your annuals and leave them in a cup of water until they begin growing roots. Once this happens, you can transfer them to a pot to keep indoors for the rest of the winter, and then move them back outdoors once spring begins.
With just a little work, you can not only keep your garden alive longer, but you can also save yourself major time come time for Spring.