By Judy Kunz, Colorado Master Gardener
The first day of autumn is just around the corner. With cooler weather coming, this is an ideal time to get ahead of the chores or simply enhance the overall appearance of your outdoor space. A little time invested in the yard now will pay off when the snow melts and the robins return.
- To eliminate overwintering unwelcome pests in the garden and exclude opportunistic disease pathogens, fall is the time to clean up any dead plant residue. Read more here.
- Consider planting cover crops in the vegetable garden to build organic matter and replenish soil nutrients that were depleted over the growing season, to control erosion, suppress weeds, and feed microorganisms. See CSU’s guide to soil nutrients and also read more here about cover crops.
- Lawns with bare spots or thinning lawns will benefit from aeration and over seeding at this time. If trees have grown over the years and now shade the lawn, causing it to thin out, this is the optimal time for rejuvenation. Garden centers offer various mixes specific to your needs and growing conditions. Read more here.
- Trees and perennials can be planted now. To fill that open spot in the yard, this is a great time to check out what the garden centers have to offer on sale. Keep in mind that extra care is needed during the winter when planting in the fall. As they are becoming established, plants will need regular winter watering, particularly if there are long periods of dry weather with no snow cover. Read more here.
- Many of those glorious ornamental grasses are just starting to strut their stuff. Seed heads are developing, adding a touch of beauty and winter interest to the landscape. Save them from the hedge trimmer now and cut them back in late winter. Read more here.