Fall-approved gardening tips that help pollinators

5 Fall Tips to Maximize Your Garden

Fall is here! Yes, it’s that time of the year when people sip on pumpkin spice lattes and spend their weekends cheering on their favorite team. This could mean less time is spent in the garden – but it doesn’t have to. Bees are still busy getting ready for the winter to make sure they emerge healthy in the spring. Try your hand at these five fall-approved tips to maximize the gardening time we have left and to ensure your garden is in tip-top shape come spring to help the bees, too!

1. Keep an Eye Out for Sales

Many garden and home improvement stores lower their prices at the end of summer to make room for new inventory. So, if you’ve had your eye on a new lawnmower or other garden gadgets, now is the time to buy.

2. Store Seeds and Plant Bulbs

If you have leftover seed packets, put them in the freezer so they stay fresh for next spring. But, go ahead and plant bulbs, such as tulips and irises; the winter freeze actually helps these plants grow, so it’s best to put them in the ground during the fall. Be sure to plant before the first freeze – preferably when the temps are in the forties or fifties.

3. Prune Late-Bloomers and Trim Perennials

Remove dead limbs and cut back your perennials and late-flowering shrubs. This will give them an added boost for next year and limit some post-season diseases and infestations. But, leave your annuals alone; fall pruning is not advised for those trees and shrubs. It’s also a good idea to add mulch around the base of trees and shrubs to lessen the chance of rot and insect infestations.

4. Mow and Fertilize Your Lawn

Just because your grass isn’t growing as fast as it did during the summer, don’t forget to give it some TLC now. Fall lawn care will help it flourish in the spring. So, give it a final trim and be sure to feed and fertilize to help strengthen roots.

5. Clean-up Debris

Rake your garden but don’t worry about making it too tidy. Leaving fallen leaves and twigs on plant beds can prevent soil erosion and help regulate soil temperature, but be sure to throw the leaves you do rake into your compost bin. While you’re busy with fall cleanup, remember that leaving little areas of weeds, branches and leaves can provide habitats for small wildlife. So, don’t make it too pristine to help beneficial birds and insects thrive.

There you have it! The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of gardening, and the work you take care of in the fall can pay off with a shorter to do list in the spring. Happy gardening!

Check out some other fall gardening tips here:

http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/fall-planting-tips  

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/09/20/8-fall-gardening-tips/

http://time.com/money/3998183/fall-gardening-tips/

http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/gardening/info-09-2010/fall_tips_for_reducing_garden_maintenance.html

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