Maintaining a garden during the fall season requires special attention. The cooler temperatures and shorter days can have an adverse effect on your plants. To ensure that your garden is healthy and thriving, consider the following tasks for your autumn garden care.
When that first killing frost arrives, signifying the end of the growing season, it is time for the gardener to start taking care of the man-made features of their home landscape. The cooler weather and lack of other pressing tasks make these duties an enjoyable experience during the fall.
Fences Made from Wire: Security Checks It is important to regularly inspect fences fashioned from wire for security purposes. Over time, these fences can become saggy or distorted due to the presence of plants or other factors. Examine for fasteners that may have come loose, broken strands of wire, or posts that have begun to rot. To avoid damage due to rotting or termites, painting or treating wooden posts or braces may be necessary.
Wooden fences, including the stockade type, may require a new coat of paint or treatment. Be sure to look out for nails that have become loose due to the heat and drying of the wood, which is especially common in regions with long days of strong sunshine. Painting is a must for wooden fences, especially if the color is an important part of the whole color scheme. It is recommended to paint the fence in the fall, in order to let the "newness" wear off before the springtime. This way, there will be no strong smell of fresh paint and the fence won't look too bright in the garden.
Inspect any trellises for vines that are dangling or not secure. If these vines become weighed down by snow or ice, the strain could lead to damage or even cause the trellis to collapse. Make sure to also check the espalier plants and adjust them if necessary to avoid the same issues.
Verify that the stones and mortar of masonry walls are secure, and if not, re-secure them.
Check the garden gates for signs of sagging or dragging, lubricate the hinges, and ensure that the latches are functioning correctly. A gate that makes a noise is not aesthetically pleasing.
Terraces, Benches, Retaining Walls, and Paths - A common issue in terraces is that of loose paving stones. Additionally, the longevity of the surface can be reduced due to chipped paving. Therefore, it is essential to inspect the terrace frequently to ensure that the materials remain in good condition.
Gardeners understand how advantageous it is to have a pleasant seat in the garden. Ensure that benches and outdoor chairs are well-maintained.
To stop a major repair from being necessary later, it is beneficial to take action early on when dealing with retaining walls that hold the soil in place for elevation changes. Fall is an ideal season to make repairs since any vegetation that may be blocking the wall can be easily removed.
The walkways need to be checked for material and surface condition, and any repairs that need to be done should be completed. Make sure to eradicate any grass or weeds that are taking over the paths.
When constructing steps, it is important to be aware of the potential for hazards. If the design is not up to standard, replacing them should be taken into consideration. Optimal garden steps should have a slight riser of about five inches, and a wide tread for an unhindered foot. Additionally, when designed well, the steps should not disrupt the natural stride of those who use them.
The stability of one's steps should be evaluated and fixed if necessary. An unsteady path can be a major interruption to the delight of a garden.
Rock Gardens and Planter Walls - Autumn is the ideal moment to restore or construct dry, masonry planter walls and rock gardens. Gardeners who own a hillside or rugged land are especially fortunate. Clear any overgrown or poorly developed plants. Reset or switch stones and add new soil for future use. Check the planter walls for any stones that have been dislodged by developing vegetation, which can potentially lead to the roots being exposed or the soil being lost, thus causing the death of the plant. Replace and firmly secure any steps, and realign the stones to trap and preserve moisture, or introduce additional stones or soil.
In the fall season, it is best to clean and repair garden pools to create an optimal environment for both fish and plants for the early spring season. Additionally, all mechanisms that operate the fountains should be checked and fixed before the cold winter temperatures prevent them from functioning. Pools in the southern areas of Mid-America do not need to be drained, but the water levels should be kept constant. This will help to ensure that lilies have a chance to bloom early in the spring and that new fish can spawn. If the pool is not cleaned during the fall, many gardeners risk destroying both the plants and the fish.
The bird bath should be kept in good condition and adequately filled with water to benefit the birds.
Outdoor Grills and Fireplaces- It is important to prepare these for the winter by cleaning, repainting, or painting them. For permanent fireplaces, inspect for any loose firebrick, grill rods, and rusty parts. Applying a coat of stove paint can refine the metal pieces. Furthermore, it is wise to store all the accessories for the grill or fireplace since they often tend to get lost.
Organizing Information- It is advisable to document all your gardening activities. Create a record of your activities for potential future use, or as a reminder to carry out specific tasks at a later date. Make a note to check the area once more after the winter season, when the effects of freezing and thawing have been experienced.