Cool, sunny days in autumn are among of the best times for outdoor lawn and garden work. Sweater weather means you won’t get too hot or cold; it’s both pleasant and easy to spend all afternoon in the garden. Fortunately, there are lots of fall landscaping chores that will help get your garden ready for cold weather. The most notable benefit of these is they also help prepare your landscape for spring.
Renovate Your Lawn
In Ontario, fall is usually the best time for lawn renovation. Start by aerating your lawn. Rental supply centres rent aerators by the hour or day. Leave the plugs of soil that the aerator pulls out of the lawn in place; they will break down soon enough. Lightly overseed, paying special attention to bare and thin areas. Finish off with a light topdressing, like topsoil we can deliver right to your door.
Prune Shrubs and Trees
Fall and early winter are also good times to prune many ornamental shrubs and trees. It will help to stimulate new growth in spring. Generally speaking, most summer and fall blooming plants can be pruned in late fall or early winter. Hold off on spring flowering plants until after they bloom. Remove dead or damaged branches first. Thin out branches that are crowded or crossing. Most plants look best if you retain their natural shape. Cut back branches that you remove to the next intersection instead of shearing off the tips.
Mulch Planting Beds
We all like a little extra warmth in winter. Give your perennials, flowers and shrubs a light blanket of mulch this fall. While mulch helps to retain moisture, it also helps to moderate soil temperatures. Your plants’ roots will have an extra layer of protective insulation for freezing temperatures. Plants that have been mulched in the fall will be eager to grow and bloom when spring rolls around.
Inspect Patios and Pavers
Your patios and walkways, whether constructed from interlocking pavers or flagstone, should have a fall inspection to prevent problems from developing over winter. Reset any pavers that are displaced along the edge of your patio and reinstall or repair the edging to hold them in place. Sweep in aggregate or polymeric sand between pavers if there are obvious gaps. If you use a sealer on your pavers, fall is a good time to put on a new coat. Depending on the type of paver, it will provide some extra protection from freeze-thaw damage.
Install New Plants
With just a few exceptions, fall is the best time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. Though the plants will be dormant for winter, below ground, cool weather gives roots a chance to get established without the pressure of feeding the foliage. When warm weather comes, plants that were put in place in fall will recover faster. They will be healthier, with more leaves and blooms.
Fall planting is one of the best ways to get a head start on spring. With some new plants in place, your pruning hyhhgcomplete, a renovated lawn, repaired pavers and touched up planting beds, you’ll be fully prepared for spring garden recovery. In fact, having spent all that time improving your landscape, you’ll almost hate to go inside for the winter!