While some people equate Fall with a time of ending and relative quiet, for many savvy homeowners, it’s anything but! Whether landscaping or exterior tasks, Fall is the ideal time to invest some effort to pay you big dividends next year.
Fall is the best time to take stock of how your lawn and garden fared over the summer and determine what needs adjustment. Don’t wait until spring to try to remember what didn’t do well in its current position. Evaluate what changes you need to make to optimize the beauty and function of your garden and do it now. Transplant what needs to move to more sunny or shady locations and cut back on overgrown beds. Don’t forget a good weeding to stop them from reappearing with a vengeance. Write down the tasks you postpone until next year and pack it away on top of your gardening tools, so you won’t forget when Spring arrives!
Fall isn’t just a time for raking up; it can still be a time for new plantings too. Evergreen trees and shrubs can add to your enjoyment of your property during the winter months and autumn is the optimum time for such plantings. Since they’re in a more dormant phase, evergreens have a far better chance of surviving if planted now versus in hotter months. Check with your nursery for details on evergreen care. Most will recommend that you wrap new evergreens and bushes in burlap to protect them, at least for their first winter.
Fall can also be a good time to plant many varieties of perennials – most of which are on sale now at local garden centres at greatly reduced prices. If you’d like a burst of late season colour, some of the hardier, late-blooming perennials such as asters or mums can extend your garden’s beauty right into Thanksgiving! Of course, planting bulbs such as daffodils and tulips will deliver a gorgeous floral display to herald the arrival of Spring. Your Fall landscaping efforts should also include renewing your soil’s resources to ensure healthy growth next year. A Fall fertilizing treatment of your lawn and garden will bring your soil to optimum levels and ensure a welcoming environment when things come back to life!
In addition to landscaping, your exterior plan should include a walk-around to see what’s in need of maintenance or repair before harsh winter months set in. A thorough power-wash of your walk and driveway will remove harsh chemicals and loose material and let you inspect for cracks and fissures. These should be sealed before freezing temperatures turn water into ice and cause more damage. Do-it-yourself driveway sealers are available from most home improvement outlets or you can contract the job out for a reasonable cost. Your exterior wood surfaces also need protection. Fall is the optimum time for painting and staining, untroubled by insects and oppressive heat. Most paints and stain will dry in any temperature above 10 degrees Celsius. Make sure you ask your paint store manager about the minimum temperature required for the product you choose.