As the taste of fall comes to an end and you prepare to shut up your home for the winter, there is quite a lot that needs to be done besides getting the stoves ready. You need to pay attention to your home, lawn, and garden to make sure your property stays clean, safe, and comfortable for the long winter. Here are a few tips to consider.
- De-clutter your home
This is the perfect time to switch out summer stuff for winter items, including clothes, shoes, and doormats as you clean out your drawers and closets. You may also want to:
- Clear a section in your closet to store holiday gifts, and throw out anything in the pantry that may be expired.
- Create some baking space – If you like to do a lot of holiday baking, you may want to allocate some space in the pantry specifically for your baking ingredients.
- Donate extra items – If there are items in good condition that you don’t plan on using again, put them in one box for donation.
This is an important step for insect and disease control. During winter, many insects hide themselves in existing garden debris. So, some fall tilling will expose those pests to predators (like birds) and harsh elements, making it easier to manage outbreaks next spring. If the soil is too wet to work on, you might want to postpone tilling till it dries in spring. Other garden tips include:
- Plant shrubs, trees, and other perennials before the ground freezes, and water them appropriately whenever possible
- Don’t fertilise plants in the landscape to avoid spurring new growth – the new plants won’t be able to adjust to the changing climate, making them prone to damage.
- Plant spring-blooming bulbs and water appropriately. Give them enough time to form a substantial root mass (4-6 weeks) before the ground freezes
Fertilisation of the lawn should be done in early fall in order to green it up early in the spring. With winter around the corner however, you should consider other lawn care practises, like:
- Late mowing to control diseases and keep the lawn looking beautiful throughout winter
- Close mowing to help reduce snow mold and mildew – but not lower than 11/2 inches to avoid damaging the turf
- As the leaves on your trees freeze and drop, pick them up using your mower as a leaf mulcher or vacuum, so they can be shredded and spread on your garden as a mulch.
Lastly, it is not advisable to prune your trees during late fall as this may limit flower blooms in spring. That said, you may want to remove diseased, dead, or broken branches to control diseases next season.