Fall gardens represent the culmination of months of human work, months of plant growth. As such, you need to make a conscious effort to enjoy them to the fullest. While the spring landscape holds the seeds (literally) of a fresh start and thus carries a certain excitement of its own, the garden in autumn holds a trump card: it's called the "harvest," the sights, smells and tastes of which are not to be missed for anything.
But the autumn also brings with it some chores that we must perform before the arrival of winter. Below is an FAQ that will:
- Remind you of what needs doing in the yard during autumn
- Explain why this work is necessary
- Instruct you as to how best to perform these tasks
Work to be Done Around the Fall Garden, Lawn
You've had a long summer of mowing the lawn, pruning shrubs watering trees, maintaining your perennials, etc. You're ready for a break, come autumn, right? Well, not so fast! There are a number of recommended tasks to perform in the fall garden. I'll get the most obvious (deceptively obvious) one out of the way first, even though you'll have to hold off on this one until after you've performed most of the other tasks:
OK, here's another task that is not at all obvious (at least to beginners). Everyone knows that you have to water grass and other plants in summer. Anyone who doesn't already know this will find out soon: try skipping on watering your lawn some summer, and you'll wind up with dead grass. But what about when summer's heat passes? I deal with watering trees and shrubs later in this FAQ, but regarding watering lawns, click the following link:
Watering the lawn is one thing. But what about mowing in fall. Do you finally get a break from mowing in autumn? And if not, the question is:
Yet another question about autumn lawn care follows. Lawns are a lot of work, aren't they? That's why I'm all for killing grass to convert lawn areas into planting beds for perennials and shrubs. But if you're a lawn holdout, you'll want the answer to this question:
At least leaf raking is relegated to autumn (it's not maintenance work that you must perform continuously over a period of months). I like the look of autumn leaves: they provide a great backdrop for my Halloween decorations. While it's all right to keep leaves around in fall gardens, the lawn is another matter:
Again, having a big lawn impinges on your free time. Wouldn't you rather be out snapping fall foliage pictures than scraping leaves off your grass? I would. But the natural follow-up to the prior question is:
The leaf blower vs. leaf rake debate will largely come down to personal preferences. But the answer to the following question will give you something to chew on if you're trying to decide which camp you fall into:
If you're forced to cut back on your leaf peeping activities in autumn thanks to having to rake leaves, at least do it right. Don't just go through the motions. Ask yourself this:
Many of us would rather be working in the fall garden than worrying about lawn weeds in autumn; we might even cultivate edible weeds. But if you're serious about battling weeds in your yard, this question will probably occur to you:
Ah, retiring the mower for another year: a blessed moment, in some ways (although, I must admit, as tired as I am of mowing after doing it all summer, I hardly look forward to wielding a snow shovel). But unless you think putting the mower to rest is as easy as opening the outdoor storage shed door and shoving it in, you'll want the answer to the following question:
The next 4 questions share a theme: preparing the plants in your fall garden for winter (this is where you'll learn about watering trees and shrubs in autumn):
Should I protect the deciduous shrubs in my fall garden from the snow and ice of winter?
Should I protect the evergreen shrubs in my fall garden from possible winter damage?
Why should I be watering the trees (especially evergreen trees) in my fall garden? How can this protect them from the ravages of winter?
OK, now that I know why I should be watering trees in autumn, exactly when should I do so?
So far, we've been talking about working around the fall garden and making sure our grass is prepared to be "put to bed." But now we really stare right into the gaping jaws of Old Man Winter. That's right: we'll soon be dealing once again with snow removal. You'll want to learn the answer to this question if you wish to get your snowblower in tip-top shape: