October brings fall colours, pumpkin spice lattes, and some extra lawn care and yard maintenance duties. The team at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa wants to help you give your lawn and yard a great start on next year and the best time to do that is right now! We’ve put together a short checklist of tasks you can do through October to get your yard and lawn ready for winter.
Prune trees and hedges
Fall is a great time to trim back any dead or diseased branches or stems, and remove any shoots growing where you don’t want them to. Bushes and woody plants that put out flowers on last year’s growth are best pruned after they bloom (lilac, forsythia, rhododendron). Plants that put out flowers on that year’s new growth are safe to prune back when dormant. Bushes and hedges grown for their foliage, and fruit trees, are best pruned when dormant because the goal with the pruning isn’t maximum flowering.
Clean the gutters
Keeping gutters clean and free of clutter means that water will drain away during fall rains and winter thaws as it’s meant to and not overflow and create hazardous ice problems or leaks. The only thing worse than having a backed-up gutter is having a backed-up gutter in winter.
Clean up and till vegetable gardens
Now that the majority of vegetable plants have died off, it’s a good time to clean up your vegetable garden and amend the soil if needed. Tilling the garden in fall will blend up and residual organic matter so you have nutrient rich soil to work with in the spring.
Plant bulbs (dig up and store bulbs)
Bulbs are tricky things. Some bulbs will bloom in spring sooner if planted in the fall such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth. However, some bulbs won’t survive an Ontario winter and need to be dug up and stored inside in a cool dark place (dahlia, calla and gladiola for instance). Most nurseries sell bulbs spring and fall, but usually the bulbs for sale in the fall are those that will survive the cold.
Cut back and divide/transplant perennials
Some people prefer to wait and do this in the spring, but you can also get a head start on this task in the fall. Often the fall weather is nicer to work outside in and you won’t have to wait until the ground is thawed or dry. Once plants stop flowering, they are safe to divide, transplant and cut back. Fall is a great time to reorganize and plan ahead for next year.
Protect cold-sensitive plants
Some plants need protection from the wind, snow, or cold that winter brings. Some hedges or bushes require burlap wrapping either to provide an extra layer against the cold, prevent snow and ice from bending and breaking upright branches, and protection from road and sidewalk salt. Wrapping can be done around the plant directly or a shelter can surround the plant using wrapped stakes.
Check out our fall lawn care tips here. And if you don’t have time to do these tasks yourself this season when it will be most effective, consider calling the professionals at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa for timely and friendly lawn care service. Request a free quote today!