Winter is coming soon (that always seems like a Game of Thrones reference now, doesn’t it?) which means you don’t have a lot of time left to get your yard ready for the cold, snowy weather.
If you’re scrambling to make sure that your yard will last through the winter and be vibrant and healthy come spring, don’t worry. These 5 last-minute activities are guaranteed to help your yard pop once the snow melts.
Some crops — like certain strains of wheat — are best planted in the fall. If you want any pansies, turfgrass, or perennials, this is a great time to plant them as well.
Your best friend during this process is a good fall planting guide. It’ll help you know where certain plants will do best (in or out of sunlight, soil type, etc.), how deep to plant them, and any care you need to do. Most plants that go in during fall are pretty self-sustaining, meaning you won’t have to do much to reap the rewards of gorgeous flowers come spring.
Raking leaves isn’t high on the list of “fun jobs to do in the yard,” but it’s 100% necessary. If you let leaves build up too high on your lawn, it’ll actually cut off oxygen flow to the grass and you’ll end up with a ton of dead spots come spring.
The thing is, leaves can be hugely beneficial for your yard and your garden. If you look at them as a free, natural source of compost, the job of cleaning them up gets a bit more palatable.
You can leave a few leaves on the grass to mulch into it throughout winter, but you want to gather the bulk of the leaves and either add them directly to your garden areas, or to a dedicated compost heap.
If you have a large garden area, you know that soil preparation is key for a few reasons. First, if you don’t take care of soil in the fall, you’ll end up with more and more weeds in your garden each spring.
This is the best time to find the weeds, pull them out by the roots, and then fertilize your soil. Once you’ve added the various minerals, till as deep as you can once in each direction.
This creates big mounds of dirt that erode over the course of the winter, dispersing all the fertilizer evenly and making your soil ready to grow as soon as the snow disappears.
Another tip to getting your lawn looking its best before anyone else in the neighborhood is to aerate it before the first big frost. Aeration pokes holes in the soil, increasing oxygen flow and creating a better environment for the root of your grass.
You can rent an aeration machine from your local hardware store for a half-day. Aeration only takes as long as mowing your lawn, so it’s not a time-consuming project.
We touched on this a bit in the tilling section, but it applies to your entire yard. Fall is the best time to get rid of the perennial problem weeds like morning glory.
The reason why is pretty simple — weeds, just like all the other plants growing in your yard — are soaking up as much moisture and nutrition from the soil as they can before winter sets in. That means they’ll greedily take any liquid form of weed killer since they want the water. A good thorough spraying of Roundup will do wonders for your yard come spring.
Even if you’ve put off taking care of the yard before winter hits, you can do these five activities in a single Saturday. They’re simple, and they’ll make a huge difference in how your yard looks come spring.
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