Fall is an important time of the year for your garden. It means cooler air temperatures and predictable rainfall – optimal conditions for plants to rest and regenerate. It’s also the best time for planting new greenery in time for spring. Leaves and foliage start falling in preparation for winter, bringing a mix of beautiful, warm colours to your garden – but also, a lot of mess and maintenance work!
At the end of fall, once most of the leaves have dropped, it’s time to start thinking about a fall cleanup to keep your garden in tip-top shape throughout winter and into spring. Here are our 6 must-do fall cleanup tasks that will have your garden thanking you come spring.
1) Remove Dead Leaves & Debris
When the weather starts to cool down, you know it’s time for an ‘all garden’ clean up to remove the dead leaves and branches from your yard. When you clean up your garden in the fall, you will want to start by getting rid of any dead or dying leaves lying on the ground.
You can help your plants prepare for the winter by removing excess foliage off the ground as it blocks valuable sunlight from reaching into the soil, which in turn encourages new growth for the springtime. It will also prevent unwanted insects or pests from making a home in the leaves.
The most common method for removing leaves is using a wide-brimmed rake to push the leaves onto a tarp for easy cleanup. You can rake leaves from one section of your yard to the next until the tarp is full. Once the tarp is full, you can dispose of the leaves in a special green waste bin or use a mulcher to turn the dead leaves into ‘plant food’, returning valuable nutrients back into the soil.
2) Remove Dead or Dying Foliage
Fall is a great time to freshen up your garden by removing dead or dying foliage. If you have spent the summer tending to your plants, they should be in good condition and ready to last through the winter months, however, some plants do die off throughout the year so it’s best to remove these to make way for new growth. This also reduces the amount of work you will need to do in spring – so a win-win!
If you’re unsure about certain plants in your garden and what can and can’t survive, contact a professional garden care & maintenance team such as The Patio Company for expert advice. Drawing off years of experience, we can advise which plants are likely to last through the winter and which ones may need to be removed.
3) Prune Potted Plants & Shrubs
Pruning is important for most plants, but it is especially important for ‘potted’ or container-grown plants. The reason for this is that container-grown plants often have limited access to water because they are grown in smaller spaces and therefore need to be watered more frequently than other plants. When these plants become overgrown, and their roots become tangled, they experience a loss of root health and are at risk of dying.
When you prune a plant, you are removing dead or diseased parts of the plant. This can be done in two ways: manual pruning and chemical (also known as “inorganic”) pruning.
Both methods will help keep your garden healthy and strong while promoting new growth.
4) Prepare Your Vegetable Garden for Winter
Fall is the best time to plant your winter vegetable garden. The cooler weather and increased rain provide the perfect opportunity to remove spent summer crops and plant vegetables that will withstand the cooler, darker months.
The first step in preparing your vegetable garden for winter is to clean up any garden debris that might have accumulated over the growing season. This includes removing any dead plants, picking up any fallen leaves, and trimming back any overgrown plants.
Once you have cleaned up your vegetable garden, you should till the soil to help aerate it. This will help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, which will be beneficial for the plants you will be planting in the fall.
Now it’s time to choose your winter vegetables. Carrots, garlic, broad beans, cabbage, broccoli and spinach all grow well in the cooler months. Don’t forget to give your plants a final deep watering before the first hard frost. Once the ground freezes, you won’t be able to water your plants. So, it’s important to give them a good soaking before that happens.
5) Clean Your Gutters
You might not think of it, but your gutters are an important part of your garden. Gutters keep the water from pooling and damaging your plants, and also keep dried, fallen leaves from clogging up your drains.
What happens if you don’t clean your gutters regularly? Well, that’s when you can start to see all sorts of problems—from mildew and mould to more serious issues like leaks and flooding. If you want to keep your home and garden in great shape for years to come, make sure you’re cleaning out those gutters frequently – at least twice a year.
Gutter cleaning can be a big job if not tended to frequently, however, if you’re prepared and consistent, it shouldn’t take long to have your gutters looking and functioning like new.
The most common way to prevent build-up is to use a ‘gutter guard’, which will help prevent leaves and debris from accumulating and clogging up the gutter pipes. You can also use a leaf blower to clean out any large pieces of debris from your gutters.
If you have tall trees in your yard or have quite a lot of dead foliage to remove, consider outsourcing your gutter cleaning to a professional garden maintenance team like the Patio Company. We can get on top of all those fall yard clean-up jobs in no time.
6) Plant Bulbs & Fall Annuals
All plant enthusiasts know that fall is the best season for planting annuals. It’s still warm enough outside to work in the yard without freezing your fingers off, but is also cool enough for your plants to establish themselves before the winter months set in. H. Jackson Brown Jr said it best when he said “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” This is especially true for planting annuals such as Zinnias, Marigolds and Sunflowers.
Marigolds are an especially good choice for fall planting because they’re easy to care for and will bloom all winter long. You can also plant Pansies and Violas, which are both known for their long flowering periods. If you don’t have time this fall to plant annuals from seed, consider buying some already-established plants at your local nursery or garden centre. They require less attention and will look just as good when the right time of year comes around.
If you’re looking for tried and tested methods to maintain your garden all year round, give The Patio Company a call. We’ll be there to advise you on all your garden care needs and make sure that nothing gets left behind when it comes time to prepare your garden for winter.
Get Professional Help for the Most Effective Garden Maintenance
At The Patio Company, we understand that you want a well-maintained, healthy garden for you and your family to enjoy all year round, however, life can sometimes get in the way. That’s where we come in. We are garden specialists with over 35 years of acquired knowledge in landscaping, garden maintenance, patio design and ultimately, creating beautiful outdoor spaces that bring joy to our customers.
We offer a wide range of services, including lawn care, tree trimming, mowing, planting, and more. So, call us today on 978-468-9793 and let us take care of all your landscaping, seasonal cleanup and maintenance needs.