The temperature may be dropping soon, but that doesn’t mean that your green thumb needs to be retired! Why wait for spring to get prepping for next year? These 5 backyard projects can (and should) happen in fall as your plants go into hibernation.
When the plants start dreaming, so can you! Let’s start creating the blueprint for next year’s garden and prepping our green for next spring.
1. Clear Flower Beds
The best-laid plans don’t always work out–and sometimes neither do the best-laid flower beds. If you have plants that did not work out so great this year, that’s okay! A little trial and error never hurt anybody.
It’s time to clear out the dead plants and, if you’re like me, those weeds that took over! Plants are much easier to pull up when they’re hibernating, so give those roots a date with your spade. While you clear, this is also the perfect opportunity to think about what you loved and how you can build on that for next year.
2. Lawn Care Musts
We all know the benefits of a fresh-cut lawn during spring and summer, but did you know a tidy yard also has its perks in winter? Experts recommend keeping your grass at about two inches during the colder months.
Overgrown lawns can suffocate during a freeze or snow–grass needs oxygen too! ‘Snow mold’ can lead to lawn discoloration, meaning your grass can take longer to get back to green once spring comes back. Unchecked leaves can also be a hotbed for fungi growth, so don’t neglect your rake!
Lastly, fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn. Aerating helps air, water, and nutrients get to the roots of your grass–this produces a much stronger, healthier lawn for spring! Aerators are cheap and even come in sandal form for some fun stomping. After aerating, sprinkle a little fertilizer to give your grass one last snack before winter hibernation.
3. Planting and Cutting
Okay, now that you’ve cleared the not-so-great from your flower beds, let’s talk about what comes next: planting and cutting! These are actually GREAT fall activities and can result in a beautiful spring garden.
Trim back your perennials that those garden pests love to munch on during fall. Trim foliage down to the ground (or as close to the ground as you can bear!); not only will this cut down on the snail and slug population, but it will also help your plants send much-needed energy and nutrients down to the roots during the cold months.
It may seem counterintuitive to plant in the fall, but there are actually plants that bloom bigger and brighter in spring with a little TLC before winter. Bulb plants, like tulips and daffodils, often bloom better when planted in fall. The perfect bulbs will be firm to the touch and should be safely nestled under a few inches of mulch to keep them safe during winter.
4. Spraying the Weeds
It may look like weeds die out during the cold months, but weeds are plants too–they’re only hibernating before they can plan their evil uprising once it warms back up (cue the maniacal laughter).
But seriously, don’t stop battling your weeds just because they aren’t in attack mode during fall and winter. Plants hibernate to store nutrients, so spraying a little poison can give your weeds something else to soak up. Murder the weeds and save your greens!
5. DIY Some Cozy Time
Few backyard projects started in fall will bear real fruit until spring, so we designed the last item on our list to add some cozy atmosphere to your yard this fall: let there be fire (pits).
Make it the biggest and the best fire pit you’ve ever dreamed of so you can still host friends and family during the chill. There are fabulous DIY designs to suit your tastes and fit the aesthetic of your yard all year long. Whether you’re thinking brick or stone, there are options that fit every budget. And, if you’d rather enjoy the fruits and not the labor, hire one of our GOOD contractors to handle the hard work for you!
The Good Contractors List provides trusted, local contractors near you and backs their work with our $10,000 guarantee! Click HERE to find quality professionals–we only allow the very best to be on our List.