Fall Garden Maintenance

These Timely Tips Will Safeguard Your Garden Over the Coming Winter

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Gardening is all about staying in touch with nature. That includes knowing what to do when the change of seasons rolls around. In this post we’ll share how to get your garden and your lawn ready for Old Man Winter. Use these tips to keep the exterior of your home in A-1 shape as the days get shorter and the nights get colder.

Water, Water Everywhere

Think the coming snows will give your garden the moisture it requires? Think again. Your land needs a generous supply of groundwater to make it through the cold season, according to Better Homes and Gardens. So treat the garden to a good soaking. This is important, not only for the soil, but for the bulbs and seeds it contains. Watering them now will lay the foundation for botanical beauty next spring.

Inspect and Amend

Fall is an ideal time to check your soil’s pH and nutrient levels. A testing kit will only set you back a few dollars, a small price to pay for the valuable information it provides. Once you have the results, add amendments as needed to check any imbalances.

Collect and Compost

Ah, the rich, heady scent of rotting plant matter! Nothing beats compost for making an ordinary garden extraordinary. Fall is the perfect time to load up your compost pile with dead plants, roots, leaves, lawn clippings, food scraps, and anything else that will fertilize your soil.

Fix It Now, Not Later

The outdoors is filled with potential hazards, whether you live in a rural retreat or a crowded urban neighborhood. So, while you’re winterizing your garden, lay in a supply of rock salt, close off any openings to your basement or crawl space, and make sure your outdoor lighting is in good working order. Disconnect and drain your trusty garden hose; then store it someplace safe for the duration.

Dream of Things to Come

All great gardens start with a compelling vision. So take time right now to picture the projects you’d like to complete in 2018. Now’s not too early to price materials, watch how-to videos, and plan for potential pitfalls. Record anything you find noteworthy and set these insights aside for next spring. You’ll find this gives you a great head-start months from now, when the frost melts and the days get warmer.

Here are Some Handy Hardscaping Tips

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The term “hardscaping” refers to outdoors elements like retaining walls, stone walkways, timber planters, etc., according to the folks at DIY Network. In short, anything made by people instead of Mother Nature is hardscape. It’s important to winterize these elements of your outdoor environment if you want to avoid serious problems down the road. Here are some tips for doing so:

● Fill walkway cracks with concrete patching products. This will prevent further damage and make your walkways safer during the cold winter months. Fill gaps underneath walkway sections to prevent frost heave.

● Use a pressure washer to clean stone and masonry walls. Most garden hoses lack the sheer power needed to give these structures a proper going-over. Move the wand in long horizontal strokes starting at the top of the wall and working your way to the base.

● Give your timber retaining walls a good cleaning with a mild detergent solution and a soft-bristled brush. This will help to prevent mold and other fungi from building up in the wood over the long winter months.

● Move furnishings and fixtures indoors or cover them. Coat metal parts with oil or a petroleum-based spray compound to prevent rust.

Getting the jump on winter now will protect your landscaping through the blustery days of winter, letting you relax and focus on enjoying the season. So give it your all, then congratulate yourself on a job well done.