• Comment

Prepare your yard for winter

Posted: November 9, 2014 - 1:07am
This is the time to get spring bulbs, such as the Narcissus bulbs shown, in the ground so that they can get established over the winter. Photo by Jim Blaylock
This is the time to get spring bulbs, such as the Narcissus bulbs shown, in the ground so that they can get established over the winter. Photo by Jim Blaylock

With the impending arrival of winter, one gardening expert offers a few tips for preparing the lawn and garden for the colder months ahead.

Georgia garden expert Walter Reeves suggests that now is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. In addition to planting spring-flowering bulbs, fall is the perfect time for fertilizing them.

“They need nutrients in the fall when they are planted and they need more in the spring when they have leaves,” writes Reeves in an online guide. “For every ten square feet of bed, sprinkle two cups of 10-10-10 fertilizer over the soil and dig it in as you prepare an area for planting. Use the same amount next March when the leaves emerge.”

Reeves notes that there are special fertilizers for bulbs which will give the bulbs the nutrients they need, but won’t force fall growth.

In addition, experts also say now is the time to rake fallen leaves from the lawn and add mulch around the bases of trees like dogwoods and crabapples. Perennial flower beds should also be cleaned out, with dry stems and dead leaves removed from plants and fresh mulch added around the plants. Plants such as caladium, elephant ear and dahlia bulbs should be dug up while they are still visible. They should be stored in boxes of peat moss for planting next spring. If the bulbs are left in the ground, be sure to cover them with an overturned pot and cover thickly with pine straw to protect them from freezing.

Fall is also the perfect time to fertilize fescue lawns and cut back chrysanthemums and asters. Fall and winter blooming plants such as pansies, snapdragons, dianthus and cabbage should already be planted and are ready for their first fertilization of the year.
Finally, this is a great time for composting fall leaves.

A bin can be made inexpensively and leaf piles can be added as the yard is raked. Each layer should be sprayed with water to encourage decomposition.

  • Comment