FLORI CULTURE: PUTTING THE OUTSIDE TO BED

By Beau Spicer

 

The time every gardener dreads has finally come—putting the landscape to bed for the winter. We’ve spent all season with back aches and dirt under our nails, watching beds bloom into daisies and petunias. Endless hours have been spent toiling in the soil and suddenly it’s time to walk away. In my case, it’s time to run! All the hard work has paid off and now it’s time to rest until next season. Or is it?

Fall is a great time to get a jump on spring. Anything you can get done now is one less thing you will have to do in the spring. Simple things like applying late season weed preventer to your landscapes, using mulched leaf litter as winter mulch, and applying late season lawn fertilizer to your lawns can turn a spring of pulling and cleaning into a season of planting and playing. Remember a little effort now pays off dividends in a few months!!

One thing we all battle during the early part of the spring are those pesky winter weeds.  Weeds like Henbit love the cold winter and flourish during a time when we are not thinking about the landscape. These weeds can be especially hard to get rid of since most sprays are not effective in the cold. Applying a product called Treflan in early winter can help reduce the amount of weeds we see in spring. Treflan is a granual weed seed preventer which stops the germination of seeds in landscapes. Treflan is extremely easy to apply and one application will get you through winter. You can apply Treflan up to four times a year, so don’t forget to continue using it through the gardening season to help battle landscape weeds.

When it comes to leaves during the fall, a battle is what we have on our hands. We rake and rake, seemingly never getting ahead.

This year let’s try something a little different. Instead of raking or tossing leaves into the Lenny bin, let’s turn them into mulch.

Start by blowing the leaves into piles.  Then, using a mulching blade on mower, mow over them a few times to break them down into smaller pieces. This ground leaf litter makes amazing mulch for garden and flower beds. It breaks down easily and adds nutrients back into the soil. Come spring you may be able to reduce the amount of fertilizer and mulch you use.

Fall is a great time to apply lawn fertilizer. Lawns benefit from fertilizer high in Nitrogen with NO phosphates. Applying such fertilizers up to three times in the fall and early winter will make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood.  Fertilizing now helps slowly build the Nitrogen levels to a heathy point without burning the lawn or making the grass grow to a point you can’t keep it mowed. You will love what your lawn looks like when you fertilize it now.

Remember when it comes to the lawn and landscape, there is always something you could be doing. The late fall is a time when we start to relax and forget about the outdoors. But by applying late season weed preventer to your landscapes, using mulched leaf litter as winter mulch, and applying late season lawn fertilizer to your lawn, you can actually relax in spring when everyone else is playing catchup. The weather can be amazing this time of year, so pick a warm day and get a head start.

The time every gardener dreads has finally come—putting the landscape to bed for the winter. We’ve spent all season with back aches and dirt under our nails, watching beds bloom into daisies and petunias. Endless hours have been spent toiling in the soil and suddenly it’s time to walk away. In my case, it’s time to run! All the hard work has paid off and now it’s time to rest until next season. Or is it?

 

 

 

 



Advertisement