Since the autumn season offers some of the premium planting time for the year, now is a great time to think ahead and make some plans. We’ve brainstormed some ideas for you to finish out fall, welcome winter and succeed in spring.
To Finish Fall with Finesse
Use containers to color your yard with plants. Just because cooler weather has arrived doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to colorful flowers and plants. You can transfer plants and flowers to pots and extend their life well into fall. Or, plant some new ones like mums, asters, goldenrod or sedum. Just remember to bring them in when the super cool temperatures hit. So in your planning now, make sure you have containers and potting soil mix so you’re ready to transplant.
Take advantage of fall’s prime prep time. If you want to maximize the opportunities that come with this season, now is prime time for preparing your landscape, garden beds and lawn for next spring’s growth. This is an area we can really help make your workload light so consider using your Garden Weasel tools to help you get the job done. In your garden and landscape beds: Utilize the leaves that fall as nutrient-rich mulch for the winter; chop them first with the mulching blade of your mower. Get rid of dead growth, pulling annual plants roots out all the way. Get rid of all weeds, too. (The Weasel Weed Poppers can help with this.) Cut perennials down to the ground. Divide any bulbs that have overgrown. Trim dead or diseased branches. In your lawn: Aerate lawn to loosen compact soil so it will respond to seeding and fertilizer best. Fertilize your lawn in early fall and again in late fall to maximize root growth and spring greening. When you make your last mow of the fall, don’t cut too short.
Plant new landscaping now. Fall is the best time for planting new landscaping. The harsh heat of summer is gone so plants have time to establish their roots before winter comes. Starting early now to plan what additions you like to make give you plenty of time for dreaming, designing, shopping, buying and digging. Check out our post on landscaping for all seasons for even more helpful ideas to get you thinking creatively.
To Welcome Winter
Consider adding a fire pit for some winter fun. If you’re dreaming about how you could enjoy your outdoors even more during the winter, why not consider creating a fire pit area? Your plans could be as simple as purchasing a stand-alone kit from your local do-it-yourself store, or as elaborate as constructing a built-in stone or brick outdoor living area. Either way, start planning now so you can look forward to winter this year!
Plant yourself a “winter” vegetable garden. Find out the average date of the first kill frost in your area from your local extension office or online. Choose a few root veggies and a few leaf veggies and plant them early enough to reach their full growth before that date. If you want, you can plant them in containers just in case. There are options that mature in 30, 60 and 90 days. Some root vegetable options include beets, carrots or radishes. Some leafy vegetable options include cabbages, Swiss chard and spinach.
To Succeed in Spring
Plant spring flowering bulbs now. Start shopping and imagining the beautiful colors you’d like to see when spring comes. Go out, walk around your garden and landscape and allow yourself time to dream. Maybe sketch out some new beds or make a list of the areas that seem to need a spot of color. Start from inside your house and look outside to determine where you might like to see color. Maybe this is the year you plan ahead enough to do a monochromatic color scheme and plant all the same colors of many varieties of plants. Whatever you ultimately decide, take the time now to be aware of what flowers are spring bulbs and get them ordered so you can plant them this fall. No regrets come spring! We have more details on exactly how best to plant spring bulbs here.
Invest in your lawn now for a spectacular green lawn later. In addition to the fall lawn care mentioned before, you can also overseed now, add a top dressing of soil to optimize growing medium, repair areas damaged over the summer, and definitely use this time of year to get rid of stubborn weeds. Fall is a good time to call in the professionals, too. It’s a good idea to get lawn care specialists input on ways to maintain a beautiful lawn and they can help you identify problems you may not be aware of with pests and disease.