Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup
Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup. Think about how you clean your house? “Top” to bottom, right? Let gravity help you!
- Whether it’s you or you hire a local tree service, get some of those dead and broken branches trimmed off. No pruning! Just the dead stuff. This could spare you some roof damage in the winter and early spring from heavy snow.
- Be sure to save a few of the smaller twigs and branches for composting. The strength of the branches can help aerate new compost piles.
- While you’re up there….get those gutters hosed out too.
Rake, Rake, Rake…
We know…raking isn’t a fun thing to do, but it’s fun making big piles to jump in! After you’ve done this, don’t throw them all out! Unless you have a fair number of trees, let nature insulate and nourish your gardens, and here’s how:
- Adding a thick layer around the base of rose bushes and other tender flowers will protect the root crowns from extreme temperatures and also give natural nutrients to the soil.
- Mulching the flower and garden beds will help conserve moisture to save on winter watering.
- If you have a lot of leaves, bag them up and get the kids to “smoosh” them. This helps break the leaves down, save space and bags, and gets the kids outside for some fun! Set aside a couple for replenishing mulch during the cold season.
- Nobody can rake ALL of it up, but leaves are also good mulch for lawns…as long as it’s not covering the grass. Once raking is done, mow the lawn on the “mulch” setting one last time to chop it up and get it down in between grass blades.
Vegetable and Flower Gardens
When the last of the harvest has been taken in, it’s time to put the bed…to bed. After the first hard frost, pull out any diseased plants and weeds and trash them. Everything else can be tilled under to help provide nutrients and fertilize the earth.
- If you have it now, add a nice layer of compost over the top.
- Use the raked-up leaves to make a deep covering over the whole bed….like a foot deep.
- Cover the leaf layer with old pallets, or chicken wire, or larger dead branches to keep the leaves and topsoil from blowing away in the winter winds.
- This cover also insulates the earthworms and other beneficial insects so they can do their work.
Clean Up with Compost!
Composting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to have gorgeous flowers and abundant fruit and vegetable harvests and should be part of everyone’s fall yard and garden clean up! Safer than chemicals, building a compost pile is really easy! Non-meat kitchen scraps, some dirt and dead leaves (which you now have an abundance of), and twigs are the ideal living space for a microbiome. Hint: earthworms L.O.V.E. coffee grounds! Make sure you keep those (non-flavored varieties) in your pile as well.
Lastly, be sure to tidy up the yard. Clear out corners and areas that could become a home for some unwanted critters. Be careful restocking firewood as black widow spiders love these undisturbed areas. Plant any bulbs at this time for a beautiful spring showing! Gather up the tools and summer yard decorations and get them cleaned up and put away for the season.
While you’re in the yard be sure to call for a deep Fall cleaning so that everything is done inside and out and you’re ready for winter. Now that’s a job well done!
Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup