Fall, Glorious Fall

“How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.”

-John Burroughs

After the gloomy skies and the rains last week we have been rewarded with a beautiful, sunny and colorful Fall.  The leaves are changing and captivating.  It truly is amazing and surprises me each year.  I am grateful to live in a 4 season state!

While there is still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors in St. Louis before the cold weather sends us inside, there are some things to be done to keep our lawns and gardens healthy, appealing, ready for the cold winter.  Prepare now for the upcoming winter and you’ll thank yourself in the springtime-and so will your plants!

Mowing:  Don’t put your mower away just yet!  Keep mowing regularly until the grass has gone completely dormant and stops growing.  Remove sticks, leaves and debris from the lawn, around plants and shrubs minimizing nesting spots for little critters.

Clean Up:  Cutting back your perennials and removing the expired annuals, as well as, putting down a layer of fresh mulch will give your plants and bulbs the protection they need through the winter. Removing fallen leaves, branches and other debris will make a world of difference in your lawn and plating beds come Spring .

Mulch:  WHY MULCH?
The effect mulching has on soil temperatures is probably one of the most often overlooked benefits. Many of us are more concerned with aboveground temperatures and don’t spend much time pondering what’s happening underground. Simply stated: Mulch is insulation. It keeps the soil around your plants’ roots cooler on warm days and warmer on cold nights.  Make sure you have a nice layer of mulch in your planting bed and around trees and shrubs for protection during rapid temperature shifts.

Plant Bulbs:  Plant bulbs and clean up now for a fresh start next Spring.  Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils must be planted in the fall or early winter to bloom in spring because they require a long period of cool temperatures to spark the biochemical process that causes them to flower. In fall, it’s important to get them into the ground before the ground freezes. They need time to develop strong roots.

Irrigation:  Make sure you have your irrigation system winterized before the first freeze.

Your landscaping will look neat and tidy while being protected from winter stress, as well as, being ready for those lovely bulbs to push through the earth and let us know that Spring has come!