Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reader Help: Fall Clean Up

I'm way behind in my fall yard clean-up this year, and I have no excuse. Mother Nature has dealt Minnesota a beautiful September and October and yet, I still haven't taken the time to prepare my yard for winter.

Two years ago, I left my yard practically as is, and it was a mess to clean-up in the spring. The leaves were matted and wet from months of snow piled high and my perennials needed serious work as I had to dig out all the dead foliage to make room for the new. Last fall, I did the complete opposite and spent hours cutting everything back so they'd be all set for spring growth.

How about you? What do you do to get your yard and flowers ready for wintertime?

I also have questions about fertilizing the grass in the fall and planting spring tulips and daffodils. Do you do this now? And if so, what fertilizer do you use?

Let's hope the weather holds up for me this weekend to complete these last outdoor projects before winter officially sets in!


  1. I haven't done boo yet either. This year I am going to cut everything back too. Except last year I didn't and some of my annuals came back because I think I piled all my leaves on my flower beds which helped keep them warm? It was weird.

  2. You know what I was just going over last night that you should do if you haven't yet. Make a garden map on paper to remember where things are and what they're called - I would forget every spring until I did it.

  3. Oooh, that's a good idea! I've never heard of that before but it makes sense. There's some perennials I love and others I wouldn't buy again. Good to know for spring planting. Thanks Jessie.

  4. I actually prefer to leave some leaves and old foliage on the plants because it will help insulate against the cold and will break down into organic mulch (well, the leaves will). In the fall, I usually deadhead everything, plant bulbs (this can be done as late as November - as long as you can still work the soil and it hasn't frozen, you'll be fine) and use fertilizer stakes on shrubs and trees. (This fall the deer have eaten almost everything - that's what we get for taking a 10 day honeymoon with an unattended garden.) In the spring, when new growth starts, I just pull out the old growth - my hostas and daylilies take almost no time to yank.