By Victoria Fuller
As the mercury begins to truly dip for the first time this season (we had frost in Ontario this week…honest to goodness FROST) we wanted to share a few tips for things you should be considering bumping to the top of your to-do list out in the garden. Thankfully this time of year at least means that rolling up our sleeves and getting busy in the garden doesn’t lead to heat exhaustion! Silver linings! Check out our seasonal garden maintenance tips below!
Not the most riveting task but probably the task with the greatest overall impact: maintaining your lovely lawn (if you have one!). Fall is the perfect time to apply fertilizer as around this time of year the soil is still absorbing nutrients. It is also the perfect time to pull weeds (it is easiest to pull them when they are damp: fun fact!), rake those leaves (this will prevent lawn diseases, smothering the grass, and encouraging rodents), and perhaps complete your last mowing of the season! It is important to have a mid-length lawn going into the Winter as in the colder months tall grass can become damaged and perish while short grass can leave the soil overexposed to the freezing temperatures and cause irreparable damage.
Planting your flower bulbs in the Fall before the first ground frost is a great idea as it helps the bulbs develop and establish roots without having enough time to actually have their leaves and blooms break through the surface (and inevitably perish). Bulbs are also a great way for you to plan and design your garden for next season! Daffodils are a great option for those getting started with bulbs!
Invest in Covers
If you have a Cedar Planters raised garden bed now would be the perfect time to invest in a Winter Cover for your investment, our Winter Covers will help protect your garden bed from wind, snow, rain, and UV rays!
Although we have praised weeds in the past (in some cases they can be beneficial, for example: encouraging visits and pollination from Monarch Butterflies!), but when it comes to preparing your garden for the Fall and Winter months all weeds are going to do is deplete your soil of vital nutrients, so pluck those bad boys out as soon as possible!
Watering Tree & Shrubs
The ultimate Fall plants, trees and shrubs are less likely to succumb to cooler weather but could still benefit from “deep watering” at this time of year. Holding your hose or water source to the roots of your trees and shrubs will help the water to really sink down to the roots of the plants, and then when the temperatures drop and the water freezes this can provide a water source to your plants!
We touched on this a little bit during our “Lawn Care” section but it deserves its own bonafide section as well! Many people think that raking leaves is simply an esthetic choice and that simply isn’t true! If you leave your leaves to pile up atop your lawn not only are you encouraging pests but you are also providing the perfect environment for fungus to grow, and not the delicious kind! Lawn fungus can cause patchiness in your grass as well as discoloration, not exactly the vibe that we are going for!
Closing Water Features
Ensuring that your water features are prepared for sub-freezing temperatures is essential to their seasonal success! These tips are very one-size-fits-all so if you have a specific set of instructions for a specific water feature then we would of course recommend following those! As a general rule though you are going to want to drain the water feature and ensure there is no water remaining in the pipes, disconnect the power source if there is one and correctly store the electronics and pump, deep clean the water feature, cover the water feature with a weather-resistant cover or tarpaulin, and finally impatiently stare at your water feature all while wondering when it will finally be time to uncover it and get back to water-fountain-related fun.
We hope that these tips have inspired you not to just ignore your garden and hope it goes away, if you put in a little effort now your Springtime garden is sure to thrive!