Fall is upon us!
As temperatures drop and garden perennials start their transition into dormancy, help your landscape maximize the benefit from this quiet period with a few preparations for your garden’s “hibernation.”
Cover your soil. Autumn is a great time to get your soil ready for the next year’s planting and winterize your home and landscape. Bare exposed soil is more vulnerable to harsh winter conditions. Cover these areas with nutrient-richmulch or compost to allow soils to rest, as well as to give them time to incorporate organic matter in preparation for the spring season ahead. Spring and summer perennials transitioning into dormancy will also benefit from the “blanket” soil cover provides in harsh winter temperatures.
Do your weeding (but let certain plants linger). Now is a good time to do any needed weeding. For best results, avoid herbicide, and pull weeds by hand. Make sure to remove the roots completely. Removing (and composting) this year’s spent garden plant material is also helpful from a house-keeping perspective, but consider allowing a few plants (especially those with dried flowers, nuts or seeds) to remain in place to provide forage food for local wildlife during the tough winter months.
DON’T overseed. As a reminder, overseeding turfgrass with cool season grasses is not permitted in Frisco. Let your warm season grasses (like bermuda and zoysiagrass) “rest” before returning in the spring. Cool season perennials such as winter rye and fescue tax the soil throughout the winter, creating competition for space and nutrients in the soil, and you could potentially receive a water violation!
Cooler temperatures are also a good time to do general tidying up around the garden. Upcycle old or broken pottery and remove garden equipment that has outlived its usefulness. Taking these few preparation steps now will mean your garden is clean and ready for planting the following spring.