Winter is coming. This means that the time is right for cleaning up your garden. Sure, it is not the most entertaining thing to do, but look at it this way - the better job you do during the fall, the less stuff there will be for you to tend to when spring comes. Whether you live in a spacious log cabin or a plain old house, a well-kept garden can be the crowning jewel of your property.
|A well-maintained garden is a sight to behold. Any effort you put into maintaining it now will return to you tenfold once the spring comes. So, roll up your sleeves, roll your eyes if you really have to, and let’s get this started! Here are the things you should do before winter comes.
|Get Rid of the Leaves
|Here’s the thing - the leaves start falling, and they don’t stop falling, and that’s OK. When raking the leaves, don’t be a perfectionist. Not only will you most definitely fail, but some leaves are necessary to keep nature in balance. Some leaves are needed to serve as sources of protection for insects such as ladybugs and butterflies, which work as pollinators, and your garden needs those.
|On the other hand, thick layers of leaves block sunlight and stop air from reaching the grass in your garden. A stuffy environment like that is also great for spreading disease.
|Speaking of disease, make sure to eliminate any leaves that show a sign of illness such as Maple black spot disease. Otherwise, you are at risk of those infected spores becoming rejuvenated in the spring and infecting the healthy plants.
|Even if the word is new to you, you’ve inevitably seen thatch before. It’s that old, yellowed, dead grass that is hiding beneath the living, green grass.
|You should remove any thatch buildup, as it prevents water and nutrients from reaching the grassroots. The sooner you rake this pest out, the more time your healthy grass is going to have to recover and recuperate from its harmful impact.
|Fertilize your Lawn
|Autumn is also the perfect time of the year to fertilize your lawn slightly. Doing so promotes root growth and prepares it for the next growing season. Don’t wait until spring, because the fertilizer will be less effective then.
|You should fertilize the lawn in the fall since that is when your grass needs help recovering from the hot days of summer and can make the most of the fertilizer’s nutrients.
|This is also the ideal time to eliminate all the weeds, instead of waiting for the spring when weeds are going to appear in full swing.
| Perennial broadleaf weeds are the ones that should be removed. They are unfair competition for the plants you want in your garden as they are after the same stuff. The weeds are transporting food (carbohydrates) from their foliage to their roots in preparation for winter.
|Find a natural, organic way to get rid of those pests and eliminate them.
|The Time to Overseed is Now
|If you want a thicker lawn when the spring comes, now is the time for action. Overseed your yard so that it’s thicker and lusher next season.
|First, gut the grass shorter than you usually do. Next, remove the grass clippings and gently spread the seeds across the entire lawn. Use a fertilizer spreader and follow the instructions for overseeding that you’ll find on the grass seed bag.
|Remember to keep watering the lawn until the new grass is at least three inches tall.
|Clean up your Vegetable Beds
|When cleaning out the vegetable beds, it’s especially important to pull out any pest-infested vegetable plants or plants that were plagued by any fungal disease, like powdery mildew or blight.
|If you have vegetables or flowers that have been infected by such a disease, remove them and either burn them or bury them somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, as they’ll need at least a whole year without any sunlight to be completely dead.
|When dealing with dead flowers, the most accessible approach would be to wait until the first hard, killing frost comes. That is when it will be the easiest to remove the diseased plant material since it is limp and does not crumble.
|Clean your Gutters
|Before the rainwater starts freezing and the ice dams start forming, it would be wise to clean your gutters to prevent any water buildup. Remove all the fallen leaves and any other debris you might find there.
|While tending to the house, remove leaves around your house’s foundation, too, and in other places that invite rotting and mold. This will be much easier if you have a leaf blower with a specialized attachment, but as long as you’re careful, you will be fine.
|Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.
|By Guest Blogger Kevin Jefferson