7 Crucial Yard Maintenance Moves You May Forget This Fall

Sure, lots of homeowners dig into their dirt with gusts in the spring, but fall is also a prime time to do some much-needed gardening and yard maintenance that will pay off down the road. In fact, some plants and shrubs actually thrive in colder weather. So before you put away your gardening tools and call it quits, make use of these fall yard maintenance tips to keep your greenery going through the winter.

  1.  Create a clean slate: Doing a fall cleanup for your lawn and flowerbeds are a must. Remove plant debris and rake up dead leaves to decrease pests, disease and weed seeds that overwinter. This will help prevent extra work in the spring as well.
  2.  Resist the urge to prune: Don’t go overboard late in the year as this may encourage your plants to grow more. If you prune back bushes and shrubs, do so after all the leaves have fallen.
  3.  Plant hardy bulbs: This is the ideal time to plant perennial shrubs and hardy bulbs as the ground is rich in heat and moisture giving them time to root and take advantage of the cooling hours.
  4.  Use the right mulch: Use ground-up fallen leaves as mulch in your vegetable and flower gardens.  Spread mulch after the first hard freeze, in a 3-inch-thick layer.
  5.  Bring inside tender pots and garden gear: Don't forget to take delicate herb pots inside before the weather turns very cold. You'll also need to gather up gardening equipment (hoses, nozzles, pots) and store it in a protected area.
  6.  Check for disease: Deep cracks in bark, patches of fungus, and dry, brittle branches all point to a tree in trouble. Spotting these problems is made easier once the leaves are down, so take advantage of the season.
  7.  Mum’s the word: Chrysanthemums are the classic fall plants that flood garden centers every year, so pick up a bunch to add color to your flowerbeds. If you're looking for more variety in your fall planting, consider ginkgo biloba, with bright lemon leaves; burning bush, which offers fiery red foliage; Japanese maples; or Montauk daisies, suggests Poole. Add in a few pumpkins and gourds near your mailbox and entryways, and your fall look will be complete.
                                      
    *Courtesy of Realtor.com