By the time November rolls around, I’ve usually put my gardening tools away for the year. Colorado weather will always keep you guessing!
I was having a conversation with an acquaintance the other day when he told me he just bought a new house. As I was congratulating him, he revealed that he had no idea how to take care of a yard. This post is for you, friend.
If you still have some time and energy, here are a few things to tackle before the weather turns cold.
Clean up the leaves to a reasonable level. There’s absolutely no need to remove every last one from your yard. However, it’s important to get enough of them off your lawn and other green plants so that they still get some sunlight. You shouldn’t leave your lawn buried with leaves.
A deep layer of leaves will create a soggy mat once we get snow. Plants and grass that are still green are photosynthesizing. If they get covered up too rapidly for too long, they will yellow and weaken.
The good news is you don’t have to rake and bag them. In fact, it’s better for your lawn if you mow the leaves to break them into smaller pieces and just leave them on your lawn.
In this wonderful article from horticulturists with Michigan State University, they cover why and how to mow your leaves. I was surprised to find out you can mow up to 6 inches deep of leaves into your lawn at one time! Ultimately, you might even have less weeds in your lawn over the long term.
Make sure you water your lawn and landscape plants regularly until the cold weather sets in. I covered this in last week’s post, but it’s really important to prevent winter kill next spring.
While you’re at it, mark your calendar with reminders to winter water. Set two reminders per month from now until April. This will at least jog your memory about watering your landscape plants so they overwinter better.
If you haven’t already, fertilize your lawn one last time. Fertilizing your lawn now will ensure it greens up beautifully in spring. The nutrients will cause your lawn to remain slightly green throughout the winter months, which allows to it make its own food rather than draining down its reserves.
Lastly, make sure your sprinkler system is winterized. It’s easiest to have a landscape or irrigation company do it for you. It’s most important that your backflow preventer is drained. It’s expensive and troublesome to fix if it gets damaged, so save yourself a headache and make sure it’s ready for winter.
So before you start planning your Thanksgiving dinner, give your landscape some final attention. Your lawn will love you.