Useful Gardening and Yard Care Tips for Fall
Here are some useful gardening tips for fall:
1. Fall is the time to plant spring flowering bulbs. Daffodils and tulips can really brighten your flower beds and foundations after a long dreary winter. They’re easy to plant, and require little care. Most daffodil and tulip bulbs are planted 4 to 6 inches deep, with the root side down and the pointy side up. Add some bulb fertilizer or bone meal for a spectacular show next spring. Mass plantings can be done very quickly with your Mantis® Tiller. Read our Create a Bulb Garden article for easy step by step instructions.
2. Finish your garden clean-up before the weather gets too nasty. A clean garden is not only more visually appealing, but it’s also better for the health of your soil. Remove all dead plants that could be a haven for insects. Cleaning up now will make you more eager to get started next spring when the weather warms up.
3. After the leaves have fallen, and before it gets too cold, is the ideal time to do major tree trimming and even tree removal, if necessary. (Fall is not a good time to do light pruning, as noted in tip number 8.) When the leaves have fallen, you have a clear view of the tree’s structure. Now is the time to remove overlapping branches or very long branches that interfere with other parts of your landscape or that may not support a heavy, wet snowfall. The Mantis Pro Electric Chainsaw is ideal for major tree trimming jobs.
4. Collect and store dry, shredded leaves. You can store leaves in large plastic trash cans or plastic bags. Dry, shredded leaves are both an excellent mulch for tomatoes and other vegetables and a great addition to your compost pile when it might otherwise be overwhelmed with too much “green” material.
5. If you don’t have a compost bin or pile, now is the time to get started. Dry brown leaves are the single best ingredient for building good compost. You can also compost most of the spent plants from your garden; just be sure that they’re free of disease before adding them to your compost. Shred or chop up any woody or stalky plants, as smaller pieces of compostable materials always decompose more quickly. Read our composting tips for more information.
6. Clean and check your tools and supplies. Metal tools should be cleaned and coated with a light oil to prevent rusting. Wood handles should be cleaned and may be coated with linseed oil to help prevent cracking or splitting. Make a list of any tools or supplies that need to be replaced; you’ll have lots of time over the winter to shop for replacements.
7. Start a garden file (if you don’t already have one). A notebook or a computer file can help you keep track of notes and plans for next year’s garden. Start with a list of what you plan to grow, when you need to start seeds or plant transplants in the garden. A well planned list will help you be a better shopper, too. Add photos to your file; photos will help you remember where planted your tomatoes, peppers, and other crops. Photos can help you plan both good crop rotation and ideal spacing next season.
8. Fall is a good time to prune back perennial flowers. Daylilies can be trimmed to ground level at the end of the growing season. The new Mantis Cordless Grass and Shrub Shear is a great tool for fall flowerbed clean-up chores.
9. Prepare for winter by adding mulch to flower beds and foundation plantings. Some exposed shrubs might benefit form additional winter protection, which usually includes wrapping them in burlap before the snow and harsh winds of winter arrive.
10. After you’ve finished your fall clean-up, and while gardening is still on your mind, start shopping for the gardeners on your holiday list! Mantis has many practical and affordable gifts for gardeners and yard care enthusiasts. Check out the new Mantis Cordless Hedge Trimmer or the Mantis Pro Electric Chainsaw. Share them on your Facebook page and get the word out early. They would make great gifts for you too!
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