September 25th, 2010
It’s the first Saturday of Fall! Fortunately it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day for pulling out the Fall Yard Cleanup Checklist. This is a great list I found about a year ago, let’s start with the first half of the checklist items today:
- Clean Your Rain-gutters: Now is a good time to clear leaves and debris from your gutters. Ensure proper drainage of your roof to avoid costly leaks before the cooler wet weather hits. Use a small garden trowel to scoop out the gunk. If the dirt is solidified, soak it first to loosen it, then use a garden hose to rinse it out through the downspouts. If there’s a clog, use a plumber’s auger to free it.
- Prune Overgrown Trees and Hedges: We talked about the trees and shrubs that need a haircut in the Fall a couple of weeks ago, today would be a great time to trim overgrown areas and remove dead limbs before they weaken and fall under winter snows . Thinning your trees now may save you a roof-repair bill in the future.
- Protect Your Deck From the Coming Utah Winter: With summer traffic in your backyard slowing, now is a great time to use a pressure washer to clean the mold, mildew and grime from your deck before sealing it. Once your deck is clean and dry, protect it from costly moisture damage with weather-proof wood stain.
- Start the Compost Pile You’ve Been Thinking About: We talked about composting earlier this summer. If you’ve been putting it off, it might be a great time to start with all the garden cleanup going on.
- Till Your Vegetable Garden: It’s time to clean and clear your vegetable garden. Dig out old vegetable plants and add them to your compost pile. Till the plot thoroughly, then add several inches of compost to nurture the soil for spring planting. Work the compost into the soil to help it breathe and allow rainwater to pass through more easily.
I’m headed out the door now to start on my list, I’ll share the rest of the list next time. If you have any questions about getting your landscape or vegetable garden ready for winter, stop by any Western Garden Center and talk to one of our expert gardeners, we’ll be happy to help. Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.
September 3rd, 2010
This week we’ve talked a lot about getting ready for fall. Every morning I’ve noticed a slight nip in the air as the cooler months of October and November approach. The summer seemed to zip by much too fast.
Starting your preparations for the coming fall and winter months about six weeks ahead is a good idea. We’ve talked about getting your lawn ready, however don’t overlook your containers, container plants are an overlooked group this time of year. Here are a few suggestions for your containers:
- Annuals: You can extend the life of your annuals by rooting them in either water or a potting mix such as vermiculite, perlite, or soil-less potting mix. You’ll need to strip all but the top few leaves off the stem, keep the potting medium moist at all times, and keep the plants out of direct sunlight. After a few weeks you should have a dense mass of roots that you can pot and grow as houseplants. Although this doesn’t work with all annuals, it’s a fun experiment during the winter months.
- Tropical Plants: Many tropical plants make great houseplants throughout the winter months. It’s a good idea to get ready now, because in Utah the temperatures can drop suddenly. Woody tropical plants can easily winter indoors—or in the garage if it doesn’t drop below freezing.
- Perennials: You may want to consider transplanting perennials from your containers directly into your garden. Trim the roots a bit to stimulate the growth of new feeder roots and trim the top growth a little once you’ve planted them in the garden.
Feel free to stop by any of our Western Garden Centers if you have any questions about getting your container plants ready for winter.
September 1st, 2010
I’ve noticed a nip in the morning air the last few days. Utah lawns have different needs in the fall than in the summer. Making a few adjustments as summer comes to a close and the fall season approaches will keep you lawn lush and healthy as it prepares for the snow and cold of winter.
Watering: It’s time to cut back on watering the lawn in September. You should only need to water every six or so days through the month, tapering off to no water in the months of November and December. If you live outside of the Wasatch Front, you may not need to cut back until November. Deep watering will encourage root development and make the lawn more resistant to drought.
Fertilization: A fall fertilization can help stabilize your lawn for winter and give it a jumpstart in the spring. Any of our gardening experts at Western Gardens will be happy to help you determine what’s best for your lawn. Utah State University suggests fertilizing in the fall once every three years.
Reseeding: If your lawn has taken a beating over the summer and has a few bare spots, now is a great time to reseed. Use the same mix used to start the law, spreading it directly on the areas that need the growth.
Mowing: As the cooler weather of fall kicks in, your lawn will begin entering dormancy. Dormant lawns need no mowing.
This is a wonderful time of year to kick back and enjoy your yard as the temperatures during the day start to cool. Feel free to stop by any Western Garden Center and talk with any of our expert gardeners for advice on the best way to prepare your landscape for winter and prepare for a beautiful spring next year.