Winter is just around the corner! This means fall is the perfect time to complete essential garden maintenance chores so that your green space is ready for the colder weather. Here are a few essential tasks to get you started!

1. First Things First, Tidy Up Your Lawn

During fall, you must keep up with your task of regular lawn cleaning. Foliage, weeds, sod, large obstructions, and yard debris must be cleared off from your lawn. Remember, fallen leaves and uncontrolled weed growth can attract pest infestation over time and hence must be taken care of regularly.

2. Clean The Gutters

Your fall maintenance is not just limited to your green spaces but goes on to include gutters. Over time, foliage and other debris can accumulate in rain gutters, leading to a serious clogged gutter problem in winter. Hence, fall is the right time to get your gutters cleaned properly. During your cleanup, make sure your gutters are checked for proper drainage. Also, check for any potential blockages using a small garden trowel and then rinse the system with a hose.

3. Dry Out All Your Garden Equipment Properly

Most homeowners forget to get rid of moisture and standing water before winter sets in and end up with damaged equipment. So, drain all water and moisture from your equipment, including hoses, fountain systems, and drip irrigation systems. Since you won’t need your equipment until the end of winter, it is best to put them in a dry place.

4. Aerate The Soil

Regardless of the kind of turf, proper soil aeration is crucial to relieving soil compaction and maintaining a healthy and lush lawn. Core aeration involves loosening up the soil beneath your grass beds. This prevents water pooling in your yard and facilitates the optimal supply of water, air, sunshine, and essential nutrients of fertilizers to plant roots in winter.
For small yards, the job is easily done with a gardening hoe. However, consider renting a walk-behind aerator for larger yards. Remember that your grass needs time to prepare for winter dormancy which means the aeration must be done in the early periods of fall!

5. After Aeration, Fertilize Your Lawn

Before sending your garden off to winter slumber, ensure that it is adequately fed to survive the harsh winter weather. Once your ground is well aerated, add fertilizers rich in phosphorous to support root strength and growth. This way you will enjoy a green and healthy garden come spring!

6. Rake The Leaves And Use Them As Mulch

Prevent the fallen foliage from suffocating the grass and rake it up regularly. You can also shred it to be used as mulch which will boost the growth of your young shrubs, flower beds, and trees. The best alternative to avoiding the tiring task of raking is to use a lawnmower which helps mulch fallen leaves on the yard directly.

Also, take special care of your roses and other sensitive shrubs and perennials as they are the most vulnerable to cold winter days. Add mulch and cover the plants in cloth barriers to alleviate the damaging effects of freezing.

7. Pruning

Carefully check all your plants for dead branches or out-of-place branches and trim them properly. You don’t want to deal with broken limbs in heavy snowfall! If there are any blooming perennials such as roses or clematis in your garden, prune them and cut back any overgrowth.

Do you need garden supplies to prepare your garden or lawn this fall? McLean Hardware can help you find everything from rakes and gloves to mulch and top-quality fertilizer at the best prices. Visit our store at Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Virginia or call us at 703-356-5496 today!