Autumn Gardening and Landscaping Activities
Even though the busy rush of summer is over in the garden, that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and enjoy the cooler days. There are a few important chores you need to have on your to-do list for the yard and garden.
Layer on the Mulch
Now that you’ve pulled up all your plants, you need to protect your precious (and exposed) garden soil. A good layer of mulch is exactly what you need. It will help keep moisture in, provide a safe environment for worms to overwinter, and will prevent any late-season weeds from getting a foothold. You also don’t have to worry trying to mulch around delicate sprouts or seedlings if you do it in the autumn. So rake up all those leaves, and give your garden a good blanket of mulch to help it weather the winter.
Winterize Your Tools
Not all autumn gardening chores are about the plants. Your tools are a vital part of your yard, and you shouldn’t leave them to the ravages of winter weather. Walk through the yard to pick up any tools that have been accidentally left out, and put them somewhere safe like the shed or garage. Wipe off all the dirt, and give the metal implements a spray with oil or WD-40 to protect against rust through the damp winter months. If you have the time, a light rub with linseed oil to the wooden handles might not be a bad either either.
And don’t forget the hose. A cold snap late in autumn can (and will) freeze any water left in your hose, and you can end up with cracks. Give it a thorough draining, then coil up and store safely.
Plant for Spring
It may be hard to picture spring at this time of year, but now is the time for some vital spring preparation. All sorts of flower bulbs can be planted in the fall, and that’s how you get the really early spring bloom displays. Not just daffodils either. You can get tulips, irises, hyacinths, and crocuses in the soil right now. It’s not all about the flowers either. Garlic cloves planted in the fall will give you a great early harvest of new bulbs next year.
Save Your Seeds
As your plants finish off their summer life cycle, now is the time to gather up some valuable seeds. Don’t dead-head all your flowers, leave some of the older blossoms to dry on the plant for ripe seeds. Gather them up in envelopes, label, and you’ve got free seed for next year’s planting. Not only do you save money, but you will improve your garden every year because the seed comes from plants that thrive in your yard’s exact micro-climate.