Maybe it seems that spring is the busy season when it comes to gardening, with all those planting and tending. However, fall isn't the time to neglect your garden. It needs your care as the plants move on to the hibernating phase. If you prepare your garden in the fall, it will help your garden spring better when the spring comes again.
Here's what you need to do:
Remove the annual flowers
As beautiful as they are during spring and summer months, annual flowers are truly difficult to tend for during colder months. Don't think that uprooting them is a mistake - it something that needs to be done. You'll get the most out of them if you remove them just before the season's change and add them to the compost pile.
Fertilize the lawn
In order to maintain its healthy growth, your lawn needs a quality fertilizer. Most of the plants get nutrients through their roots but that's not the reason not to help nature by fertilizing the soil when the fall arrives.
Apply weed killer
Weed killer has the best effect if applied twice a year on the lawn. Applying it during the fall is a good move because then you will kill the seeds that settled in the lawn during the summer months. It will automatically reduce the number of weeds appearing in the spring.
In case you want heirloom plants from seeds, fall is the right time to collect seeds from kitchen garden plants and flowering plants. This means you'll need to leave a few flowers and fruits and let them dry out on the plant.
Fruits that are left to ripen on the plant will have seeds that you can collect by soaking the fruit in water and then removing the pulp. Seeds that don't float to the top should be dried and then kept in a cold and dry place.
Dealing with leaves
Mulching is truly time-consuming task but the more frequently you remove the leaves, the better results will be in the spring, as you will prevent the ground from going bare.
Mulching, or redistributing leaves on the lawn, is the most beneficial option. But keep in mind that you need to stick to the regular schedule, otherwise, the layer of leaves will be too thick for you to effectively mulch them.
Take your time to thoroughly inspect all the trees and perennials and prune them appropriately. Look for any signs of discoloration on the leaves or growths, as well as on branches and flowers. Also, check for sign of rotting stems. If you notice any of these, cut them all off using gardening shears or scissors for precision. This is especially important if you notice that some disease is affecting the plant because it could spread to healthy plants if don't cut off the diseased part.
Cover the pond in the garden
If you have a big garden pond, you probably won't be able to maintain it appropriately. So, the best move is to clean it of leaves and gunk. It will spare you a lot of work when spring comes. If you cover the pond with a net, most of the falling leaves won't pollute the water. When the weather gets really cold, you need to prevent the pond from freezing so that the wildlife in it survives the cold months.
Empty the rainwater barrel
In case you've been collecting rainwater in a barrel, it's necessary to drain it before the first frost. Remove the pipes and drain the barrel completely. Otherwise, the barrel could get damaged by the frozen water in it.
Sow cover crops
A cover crop should reduce the level of soil erosion and prevent diseases from appearing during colder months. Cover crop growers can reduce the need for herbicides and lower the cost of fertilizers. Also, it will increase the amount of organic matter in the soil. Winter legumes and oats can be very useful here.
Fall is the final time for you to prepare your garden for the cold weather conditions and to help the soil stay healthy and ready for the next spring. All the work you'll do during fall will pay off when the weather gets warm again.