Fall yard maintenance

Posted
Those beautiful colours will soon be falling like rain.

It's that time again...

When September hits a lot of people just let the yard go to pot. The annuals dry up in their containers, the weeds overtake the shrub beds and the kid’s toys lay strewn about now that school and fall activities have taken over. Take advantage of the lingering warm temperatures and spend some time in the yard this fall to help better prepare your yard for spring. Here are a few tips to help you do just that!

Soil amendments

It is so important that the soil is amended regularly to help the plants get all the food they need to sustain themselves. A simple tilling of the soil with a pitchfork will work the manure or compost in and be nutrient filled when planting season begins next year.  Most Reginans are aware of the hard clay soil that exists here so adding organic matter into the soil will assist everything from trees and shrubs to vegetables.

Annuals & tropicals

I love using tropicals for my outdoor planters. They fill in the large pots easier and I don’t have to wait half the summer for that to happen.  In order to save time and money in the spring you can spray the plant with an insecticide and find a spot to over winter them indoors. If you have them planted with other annuals and the container is too large to be brought indoors (see photo below) dig it out, spray the roots and  the leaves with your insecticide. Once this plant is thouroughly sprayed you can re-pot into a more suitable sized planter to be brought inside. For plants that will remain in their pot and brought inside for the winter spray the leaves (don’t forget the undersides) and the top of the soil and let them dry outside for an hour or two before bringing them indoors.

Canna lilies are a beautiful plant that comes in a lot of pre-made planters sold in greenhouses. After cutting the leaves off these rhizomes can be stored in the winter and re-potted to use again in containers next spring. This process will save you time not shopping around next year and the money saved can be spent on other plants!

This large leaved tropical is an example of one that would have to be moved indoors to over winter.
The large leaved tropical in this planter will need to be removed and sprayed then re-potted to bring indoors this winter.

Transplant

Divide those perennials and fill in gaps in your garden without spending a dime.  Some perennials grow too big for their current space or in other cases you just might change your mind about where you want it.  Most perennials can be pretty forgiving when it comes to transplanting so dig it out and try it somewhere new.  Remember to treat it like a new plant and give it some water until freeze up. The rules are usually divide the spring blooming ones in fall but I have had success with dividing hostas and sedum at this time of year as well. 

Leaves

They can be the inevitable back ache in the fall but think twice before bagging them in plastic and tossing them in your waste bin. Leaves are nature’s mulch and can be effective in improving soil conditions by providing aeration, retaining moisture and providing nutrients after all they are organic matter.  Vacuum the fallen leaves using a leaf blower or lawn mower. After the leaves have been mulched they can be spread on top of the soil around plants. If you don’t have exposed soil to use the leaves on be sure to use yard waste bags and drop them off at the city of Regina yard waste site

Then sit back and enjoy that low slung sun before you put away your patio chairs for the season.