Flowers are in full bloom. Everything is green. And your lawn needs to be mowed twice a week. But, as much as we may not want to admit it, there is no changing the reality: The first frost will be here before long.
While it may seem like your garden dies off during the winter, there is a still a lot going on during that hibernation that can either make or break your yard next year—but a little autumnal prep goes a long way toward ensuring spring success.
According to experts, it’s best to start your yard’s fall prep about six weeks before the first freeze, which typically occurs during mid-October around here. As you make your plans, start from the ground up by adding soil amendments that will slowly release fertilizer during the coming months. Not only will this give them more time to do their jobs, but it will also make your job much easier when your grass grows strong and green next spring. While you are at it, tackle the weeds that are still springing up in your yard and consider adding weed killer to land an early blow on those unwanted seeds that are flying around.
As for the good seeds you want to use next year, take this time to collect them from flowers and harvest plants. It may feel like an extra step now, but it will be a welcome convenience next planting season—not to mention it’s a great way to save money.
This is also a good time to assess the things that didn’t grow as hoped, such as flowers that failed to bloom in partial shade or branches that seem to be rotting. Take notes on what to avoid when planning next year’s garden and trim branches or trees that are beyond hope.
Not only will these chores give you a leg-up when growing season resumes in April, but they are also welcome ways to enjoy these fleeting days of warm weather.