By Candice Morris
In the South, we don’t see much cold weather during the fall and winter seasons, so we tend be a little more relaxed with our gardening. But just because the leaves on trees are gone and the flowers aren’t blooming doesn’t mean we should neglect our yard and gardens. Check out these tips to help get the yard and garden ready for the colder temps.
Just as we flock to scarves and sweaters on cooler days, our plants need a little insulation from the weather too. One of the most cost-effective methods involves spreading mulch around flower beds. Spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch around your plants will help to not only keep the cold from getting to the plants but it will also help to retain moisture during drier months.
Fall is also a great time to get the lawn ready for the spring. Be sure to fertilize it well with lawn food and reseed thin spots around the yard. To add some color during the winter seasons, planting annual ryegrass seed on top of the warm-season grass will do the trick. Using a mower to chop fallen leaves can also be beneficial; leaves will break down and add nutrients to the soil.
If flower beds are looking a little sparse, try planting colorful fall flowers that are perfect for cooler temps. Mums and pansies are a great choice, but also consider fall flowers such as aster, helenium, or goldenrod for a garden bursting with color. For perennial beds, fall is the time to pull those weeds and cut back perennial flowers; this will help to ensure better growth in the spring.
Spring-blooming bulbs should be planted approximately six weeks before the ground freezes, but here in Alabama we often don’t have this worry. Bulbs such as crocuses, tulips, and daffodils can be planted well into November and sometimes December. These hardy bulbs will grow best in well-drained soil. If you’re unsure about your soil’s quality, work in some sand and compost.
Before the weather gets too chilly, be sure to take advantage of the mild fall days to get the yard and garden in shape for the colder temps. With these simple preparation techniques you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful yard and garden even on the chilliest of days.
Photos (all are stock)
Mulching.png: Spread mulch around flower beds to help keep plants insulated during chilly months.
Mums.png: Mums are a great planting choice for fall to inject color into the landscaping.
Article sponsored by Pants Store.
Find them on the web at http://www.pantsstore.com.