So, how was your garden this year? The only garden that I can lay claim to was a blue berry bush and it didn’t make it. I know, who am I to be talking about the Fall Garden? Well I can dream. I can also consult the experts and relay helpful tidbits that I think you might find interesting if you garden. Aside from gardening interests, when selling your home, the outside appeal of a home is high on the priority list, aka: curb appeal! Now then, it becomes my duty as a real estate agent to share this info with you. (I can also share the number of a really great landscaper.)
Clean It Up
If your home is NOT on the market, the experts say it's best to wait until the plants have all sufficiently died down and then pull out all the dead plants to keep your garden healthy come spring. But don’t forget to pull them out once they completely die off, otherwise garden waste provides safe havens for over-wintering disease organisms and pests. In this Birmingham's Fox 6 news report, the experts they consulted suggest you clean up the soil by removing dead leaves, twigs and anything else that will provide shelter for pests.
The experts say (sheepish, smiley face icon), that Fall is the ideal time to prepare your vegetable and other garden soil for next season’s garden. A 4-inch layer of shredded bark, combined with an equal amount of compost, dug into the top 6 inches of soil and left to overwinter will lighten up clay soil. Compost is a great way to get rid of yard debris like your fall leaves and yard clippings. As for me, I’ll let the buyers know they will have compost for healthy plants in Spring when they go to plant their garden. So, if you are not planning on putting your home on the market until Spring, use these helpful tips to have your Spring-time garden sprouting. Buyer’s love to romanticize about the vegetable and herb garden in the back yard whether they will ever get around to growing one or not.
Take Care Of Your Plants
Sure, it sounds trite, but perennials that flourish in the South like Blue Creeping Phlox or foxgloves truly are the workhorses of the garden. My kind of plants, they come back year after year. Oak Street Garden Shop says they will work even harder for you next season if you pamper them now. Any that require cutting back should get the treatment now (do not forget to remove the debris to keep pests and disease organisms away). Inspect shrubs for any branches or stems that may be diseased, prune them off and then rake up the mulch under the plant (it may contain disease organisms or spores). Then, as we get closer to winter, spread a 4- to 6-inch layer of fresh mulch (such as leaves or pine needles) over the soil.
Get young trees ready for winter by using tree guards, wrapped around the trunk. This helps keep hungry critters from chewing on the bark. Prune any branches that don’t look like they’ll stand up to winter weather and any that are crossing over one another (they may be wounded or break when they rub together during windy weather).
Continuing watering your evergreen trees right up until the first frost to protect the foliage from drying out.
And The Bulbs
If you want spring blooms from crocus, daffodils, or tulips, now through the fall (before the ground freezes) is the time to plant them. The gardening gurus at Better Homes & Gardens suggest that you plant each bulb in a hole that is “two to three times deeper than the bulb is tall. So, if you have a 3-inch-tall bulb, dig a hole 6 to 9 inches deep.” Tender bulbs, such as canna, dahlia and gladiolus should be protected from being brought to the surface by frost heave during winter. Use pine tree boughs, wood chips or pine bark, according to the experts at Better Homes and Gardens.
That Luscious Lawn
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean your lawn doesn’t require attention. In fact, fall is the season when grass is working its hardest, taking in as much water and nutrients as possible to prepare for the dormant season. I was surprised to hear this from the experts because it’s something I’ve been telling my husband for year, keep mowing that lawn. I really don’t tell him to do anything, he is just on super-husband auto pilot. You should see how cute he looks in his yellow ear phones and googles when mowing the grass. But, I digress, the experts say to keep mowing the lawn even as winter approaches, just cut it at the mowers lowest setting.
My husband doesn’t do this, but they say…Fall is also the best time to aerate and fertilize the lawn. Use a broadcast or drop spreader to apply fertilizer evenly.
Finally, don’t allow fallen leaves to remain on the lawn over the winter. If you do, they may suffocate the grass or, according to Popular Mechanics, provide the ideal breeding ground for fungal organisms. Keep your lawn healthy and clean if you are planning on selling your house this fall or even this spring. Do the work now so you don't have to stress out about it later.
Here, here to a beautiful yard!
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