Chris Bonnett is the founder and CEO of Express Gardening.
We’ve had a great summer this year and there’s no doubt that we’ve all spent a lot of time outdoors. Unfortunately, now that summer is over, I tend to see a lot of people neglecting their garden when really they should be getting it ready for fall and helping it recover from the summer, especially after the temperatures we have experienced this year.
Maintaining a healthy garden through the colder months is actually what will help it thrive next spring. Everything is key for the preparation of next year.
If you haven’t already, I encourage people to bring their lawn back to life before it stops growing for the winter. Now is the time to rush the last round of fertilization of the year. Mow your lawn and distribute your fertilizer evenly, but be careful if you have pets or children.
If your lawn is severely damaged and dry due to hot weather, you should avoid fertilizing it at all costs.
Fertilizers tell the roots to work harder, which can strain your lawn if left uncollected and cause further damage. Instead, just focus on watering little and often. In November it may start to look better and then you can apply some fertilizer.
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Now is also a good time to get rid of your compost bins. By laying compost now, you’ll notice that in the spring it will have broken down and blended in with the rest of your soil.
It will feed it with nutrients so that when planting season returns, you already have rich soil.
Preparing for the first frost is also important and it’s never too early. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather in the coming months and start thinking about how you are going to protect your plants.
You can move containers indoors or into a greenhouse, but you’ll need something else for your beds.
With bigger rats expected this year, you’ll also want to make sure you have a clean and tidy garden – that means no big compost heaps or piles of leaves.
Rats look for warm places like this to set up their new home.
By taking these steps now, you’ll be able to keep your garden healthy throughout fall and winter, which means when the days start getting longer again, you’ll have cut your work in half.