Don't Quit Yet! 2 Things You Need To Do To Close Down Your Landscaping For The Winter

At the end of fall, you cannot quit taking care of your landscaping just yet. Your lawn needs to be put to bed correctly so it will be lush and green this spring. Your perennial flowers, which are now all brown and shriveled up, need to be prepared for the upcoming cold weather so their beauty will come forth when the weather warms up.

Your Lawn

In the early fall, you should replenish the nutrients in your lawn that are used up during the spring and summer. Fertilize your lawn a few weeks before your expected first frost. Watch your local weather, who may be able to predict when this is.

Once the grass is completely dead and not growing, you can provide winter dormant feeding. Again, when you do this depends on where you live, as you do not want the ground to be frozen. If the ground is frozen, the fertilizer cannot seep into the soil. You will apply the same type and amount of fertilizer that you did in the fall. 

You should also have your soil tested so you will know what nutrients it needs. You can purchase soil test kits at garden centers, or you can send a sample soil to your local horticultural agent.

Perennial Flowers

Perennial flowers stop blooming, and go into dormancy sometime in the fall. This is a great time to move or divide your perennials. In many cases, for perennials that bloom in the early spring up until the middle of June, you should divide/move them in the early fall. If you have perennials that bloom in the late summer or early fall, you can wait and move/divide them in the spring. If the flowers are tall, you can cut them back to make them easier to handle before you move them. Cut them down to about half at least.

If you have perennials flowers that have seed heads, you should consider leaving them alone. They provide food for the birds this winter, and they also look nice when they are covered in snow. Perennials that have seed heads include Astibles, Aster, Baptisia, Achilea, Agastache, Sedium, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia hirta.

For flowers with no seed heads, you can cut them down to a few inches above the ground. If the temperatures get well below freezing, place straw, mulch, or other protectant over your perennials to protect them.

If you are not sure the type of grass you have, or are confused on how to get your perennials ready, your local garden center like Mr Green Thumb is a great resource to help you.