The exact time to prepare your yard for cooler seasons depends on USDA gardening zones as well as individual weather patterns. Since these influence each region differently, even in the same zones, it’s essential to pay attention to temperatures. Once they regularly drop below 70 degrees, start transitioning your yard. To get your house and yard ready for the coming winter, be sure to implement these tips and ideas.
Consider the Options
When preparing a garden for colder weather, you have two choices. You can prolong the season by adding colour throughout the fall and into early winter or let everything rest until spring. The latter requires fewer resources, but still involves some effort.
Stretching the Garden
You can extend the gardening season in your yard by planting cold-tolerant options and the right annuals. Late-season greens, decorative grasses, and perennials such as asters and mums transition nicely into late fall.
Enhance your yard’s appeal with ornamental kale and cabbages that last through the first frost. Annuals that extend the season include African daisies, nasturtiums, pansies and violas. Make sure to deadhead them regularly. If you don’t feel like planting anything new or don’t have much yard space, you can add colour and texture with clusters of gourds and squashes.
Letting the Garden Rest
Even if you plan on putting an end to the garden before winter comes, you still need to transition the yard properly. Allow flowers to proceed at a natural pace, and let them go to seed. However, you need to trim back the dying foliage regularly and deadhead each plant as needed. Leave the healthiest looking stems for visual interest into the winter.
Winterising the Lawn
Grassy areas also need transitioning. When preparing your lawn for winter, warm-season turf and cool-season grasses require a different approach. If you have the former, stop fertilising in September. You don’t want new growth that could sustain harm when freezing temperatures arrive. Having warm-season grass go dormant prevents damage to the roots. In turn, you’ll have a better-looking yard the following spring and summer.
Cool-season grasses require winterising fertiliser, usually applied in October or November. That’s because these grasses maintain active roots even during colder weather. Fertilising in the fall helps them store nutrients for the whole season.
Don’t forget to plan for the year to come. If you want to plant spring bulbs, do so before the ground freezes. Place these in plots where any snow and ice removal service you might have can’t damage them. Additionally, whether you’re stretching your garden or letting it rest, remember to keep soil healthy by adding compost or mulch before frost sets in.