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» How to Clean Up Your Garden in the Fall

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Whether your garden is small or large, Autumn marks a time when certain tasks should be attended to, especially if you live in an area where the weather might turn at any given moment. The key words for Fall are, “be prepared.”

Think in terms of the most sensitive plants in your garden first. If you have indoor plants that spend the summer outside, now’s the time to begin moving them back in, especially as evening temperatures get cold. Before doing so, however, make sure you clean off the leaves and trim appropriately. If your plant has grown greatly, transplant it before taking it indoors. By the way, some loss of petals and leaves is perfectly natural during this transition so don’t panic. Just take care of the plant the same way you always have, and it should adjust within a couple weeks.

Besides indoor plants, this is a good time to dig up any bulbs that might be damaged by a harsh winter such as dahlias. To store these, make sure they’re kept in a dry spot with plenty of circulation. It’s best of they stay in a region that hovers around fifty degrees for best replanting results. And, while you’re taking these in don’t forget to plant things like garlic that actually benefit from slow, winter growth.

If your garden has a pond without fish, it’s time to remove your filters and store them for winter. The lights, if applicable, stay in place. Don’t fuss too much about clean up as leaves and other matter will naturally settle here all winter long. You can handle those things come spring. I do, however, recommend treating the water with a good amount of alga-side and chlorine to make that spring cleaning a little easier.

For flowering bushes, now’s the time to trim them back at least a half a foot. If you’re anticipating a lot of ice, you may want to trim a full foot to help avoid breakage. A hearty rose, for example, benefits from this trimming greatly as it can then put more nutrients toward blossoms in spring.

Your vegetable garden likewise needs some care now. Give the soil a good tilling, leaving the leaves and bits of plant matter there to compost over winter. Finally, around your garden, don’t forget the lawn. This is a good time to apply a good mix that deters weed and also re-nourishes the soil. Make sure you get that last bit of mowing in before the snow flies. Your grass remains healthiest if it’s no longer than two inches (any longer strands may trap molds).


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