As the August sun beats down on us, it can be hard to remember what cold feels like. However, fall is right around the corner! Now is a good time to put a plan in place to prepare your landscape for the fall and winter months. No one likes chores, but the more fall prep you do now, the fewer you will need to do in the spring, and the longer your outdoor features will last.
The largest transition in your landscape is, of course, plant life. Not many plants can survive an authentic Minnesota winter! If you are looking for some extra color, potted goldenrods and chrysanthemums are beautiful in the fall. September and October are also the time to plant bulbs for the spring.
Annual flowers or vegetables that won’t survive the winter can be removed and repurposed as compost. Remember your other plants, too! Perennials, lawns, and shrubs should get good doses of water in the fall so they are hydrated through the winter. As the weather gets colder, keep an eye on the barometer; bring inside any pots you would like to winter to keep them safe from frost.
Chilly fall nights call for backyard fires! If you use your fireplace during colder months, stock up on wood, propane, or other fuel required for your fire feature. If you have a natural gas feature, then you’re all set—but if you are not using it during the winter, we recommend closing the gas valve for the season for safety.
Another valve to close for winter is the water valve. Before temperatures truly settle into freezing, it’s important to clean out your pipes of any water. If you have water features, such as fountains, or sprinkler systems in your yard, this applies. Move smaller fountains inside if possible, and cover larger fountains with a tarp or shrink wrap to keep them protected and in good shape for spring.
Don’t forget to cover or store any outdoor furniture you won’t be using in the cooler weather. That way, you aren’t fighting snow or cold winds later in the year, and your furniture will last longer.
With your fall prep chores complete, you can enjoy the fall colors…and start thinking about spring projects! Fall is a great time to meet with a designer to start planning your 2019 outdoor landscape. Then you can dream about it all winter long!