Autumn Yard Care

Well I will be the first to admit I have never had a green thumb. I love the idea of having plants and flowers and do really well with them in the spring, but then summer holidays come around and the plants are always forgotten about! I have learned that for my lifestyle only plants requiring little maintenance and water stand a chance in my yard. I definitely envy people with manicured lawns and beautiful gardens as curb appeal (including landscaping) helps sell homes!

According to plant experts after a hot summer,  autumns cooler air temperature is easier on both plants and the people tending to them. The soil is still warm enough to allow roots to grow before the ground freezes.  Holidays are done so its easier to remember to water these gardens if rain isn't plentiful and garden centers are trying to sell off the last of their inventory and there are great deals to be had. Look for deals on spring blooming bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees which can all be planted in the fall.

Spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils need a period of cold to bloom which is why they need to be planted in the fall even though you won't be able to enjoy them until the spring. Turf grass can be established in the fall either by seeding or laying down fresh sod. Seeding is a cheaper option however it requires more maintenance making sod an easier option with immediate results. Trees, shrubs and perennials can be planted in the fall as long as they are well watered before the ground freezes.  You can plant up to 6 weeks before the first frost, although this is hard to predict, its normally around the end of October in Calgary. Perennials should be covered either with mulch or leaves layered about 3 inches thick to protect them from frost.

If you are looking for fall planting ideas, give these hardy plants for Calgary weather a thought:
- Tulips
- Lilies
- Hostas
- Ferns
- Shrubs such as lilacs and spirea
- Trees such as hawthorne, mayday and mountain ash.

Pruning of most trees and shrubs is also recommended in the autumn as well as top dressing or fertilizing your lawn.  Fertilizing in the fall helps your lawn store up vital nutrients to get through the winter, and come back next spring green, full & healthy.

When spring rolls around after a long winter of frigid temperatures you can get back outside while enjoying watching your yard come to life.