Preparing for Winter – Your Fall Garden Checklist | By Elden Freeman

Given the extreme weather we’ve been having it’s difficult to know what fall has in store. Will we have a balmy fall or will fall feel winter’s looming grip just around the corner? Either way, early fall is the perfect time to start getting your yards ready for the big chill. Begin by putting together an attractive autumn planter—ornamental cabbages and kales, mums, cora bells, verbena and sedum. Collect seeds for next spring and harvest herbs for drying. If your Hostas are the size of Mini Coopers, it is the time to divide them. Fall is the best time to divide perennials to plant elsewhere. Water the plant well a day or two before digging it up. Try to divide on a cloudy day as hot sun will stress plants. Now is the time to plant spring and summer flowering perennials as well as new trees and shrubs, allowing six to eight weeks for roots to form before winter’s frost sets in. While this is easy to neglect, watering trees and shrubs until the ground freezes is an important task as it helps them better weather the ravages of winter. Don’t let fall leaves go to waste. Shred collected leaves and bag them to be used as winter mulch. Pull weeds before they go to seed to reduce the amount of weeds your lawn and garden will have next year. Don’t forget to turn off your outside water taps. Store hoses and sprinklers. Clean and store or cover bird feeders, gardening tools, and water features. Empty and clean clay containers and bring them indoors to protect them from cracking. Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips can be harvested all winter. Remove top foliage from the plants and cover them with a 15-centimetre-thick mulch of leaves or straw. Throw an old piece of carpeting on top and let the snow fall as it may. Lift the coverings to dig out veggies as needed. Feed your lawn with organic lawn fertilizer in the fall. Dilute the compost tea with water before spraying your lawn. Also, remember to aerate your lawn as well. While none of these suggestions will ward off winter’s arrival, know that your lawn and gardens will be better off for making the effort come spring.
elden_FreemanELDEN FREEMAN M.E.S., AGB, is the founder of the non-profit organization, The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB). Mr. Freeman is also Broker of Record at Freeman Real Estate Ltd. Freemanrealty.com

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