Fall Gardening and Lawncare Activities

Preparing your outdoor space now, can be a great investment  in your garden or yard for the spring.  A few things done in the Fall can make for an even better yard or garden in the spring.  Planting a few bulbs can ensure for early spring foliage, a top dressing of Compost allows for an early boost of fertility in the spring and a layer of mulch can protect tender perennials while protecting the soil underneath.

The same things that apply for general soil health, apply for the fall too.  So keep that soil covered, keep a living root in the soil, add amendments such as compost.

  • Add Compost
    • Compost is great to add in the Garden in the fall as it starts to do it’s work before the ground freezes and adds that boost in the spring right when your plants need it most.
      • Place Compost directly on the soil no more than an inch thick.
  • Keep the soil Covered
    • Mulching,
      • if the soil isn’t covered with plant material or compost, it’s great to mulch the garden.
      • Use the leaves that you or your neighbor have raked up to cover the soil, if you seem to be lacking in leaves, you can try to find some straw bales to use for mulch as well.
      • In the spring your fall planted bulbs should be able to push through and grow.  But it should still suppress the weeds in the spring and can be pulled back to plant your garden into the soil. The mulch will break down and add organic matter to the soil all throughout the next gardening season.
    • Protect tender perennials
      • Mulch can also be used around Strawberries and other perennials to ensure that they do not winter kill.  You can completely cover strawberries or other perennials in 4-6 inches of mulch after the first hard frost. Straw works great and can be purchased by the bale at our shop.
    • Try No Till Gardening
      • If you are thinking about reducing your tillage in your garden, fall can be a great time to create the wood mulched pathways as they will help to collect the snow melt in the spring, holding it for next years garden.  You can use a broadfork to loosen the soil now or in the spring between the pathways.
  • Clean up the Garden
    • While it can be tempting to clear off the entire garden, leaving the plant material on the garden can be good for the soil and for the wildlife you want in the garden.  Plant material can form habitat for the beneficial insects and food for the birds.  It can also provide that mulch and root layer that will keep your soil happy for the spring planting season. So when the last of the harvest comes off don’t worry too much about cleaning up all of the plant material off the garden. Let it breakdown in place until you need to replant in the spring. 
  • Plant now for early Spring Foliage
    • Flowering Spring bulbs
      • Tulips, Daffodils, Ranunculus and Anemones, and Peonies can be planted in the fall
      • More and more you can start getting your spring bulbs locally.  Check out https://boondockflowerfarm.com/shop/ for some locally sourced flower bulbs.
    • For those who prefer to plant food crops, hardneck garlic can be planted in the fall for an early start in the spring.  Plant 3 weeks before the first anticipated hard frost.
  • Plant Trees
    • Fall is also a great time to plant trees.  And don’t forget to add a little bit of Compost around the newly planted tree so that it can get the nutrients it needs come spring time when it needs it the most.  Remember when you feed the soil, the soil feeds the plants for you.
    • Check out local nurseries such as Lakeshore Tree nursery or Boughen nursery for your trees this fall.
  • Take Care of your Lawn
    • Concentrate on repairing dead spots,
      • (If the grass is full of yellow spots from your dog, give our Afterdog product a try
      • Dead areas can be top dressed with some compost and grass seed. Water it generously to get it established, so you have a nice healthy lawn again in the spring.


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