8 Tips to Help You Get Ready for Fall Clean-Up
As we approach the end of summer, we can’t help but feel a bitter sweet emotion. While the thought of fall clean up and preparation for the winter season may not be the most exciting, the fall colours in Muskoka sure are! Nothing compares to the natural shades of yellow, red and orange mixed in with the evergreens, as leaves begin to change and their reflection in the water of all Muskoka lakes, big and small alike. So how do we ensure we continue to enjoy the beauty of the local landscape year after year around our homes and cottages?
Here are 8 tips to help you with your garden and lawn clean up to you can continue to enjoy the natural beauty of your Muskoka home or cottage landscape for years to come:
- Add compost or manure to garden beds - doing this in the fall, allows plenty of time for it to break down and turn into the perfect fertilizer to help plants to grow healthy and green for next year’s season.
- Cut back perennial foliage and clean up garden debris to discourage overwintering pests. Although some believe leaving garden plants intact provides protection for "good" insects, it inevitably protects "bad" insects as well, that can be difficult to eliminate once your garden is infested.
- Rake any fallen leaves to protect your lawn - leaving them can block proper water evaporation and sunlight and promote mold and fungus growth that can be damaging. Be cautious if you plan to mulch leaves to use as fertilizers for your lawn as some are not “lawn friendly”. Pine needles, for example, have high acidity level and can destroy your lawn by changing the pH level of your soil if left unraked. Oak leaves, found mainly in the area of Gravenhurst and Muskoka Lakes, have poisoning properties and can be very damaging to your lawn and should not be left or mulched even in very small quantity. More information on this can be found here http://www.muskokawaterweb.ca/water-101/watersheds1/geology-ecology
- Pull weeds before they go to seed - doing it now will reduce the number of weeds next year and extra work involved.
- Trim tall grass away from trees and corners of your home or cottage to discourage small rodents from creating nests.
- Plant new trees and shrubs. Now is a great time to add these to your outdoor space to give them at least six weeks before frost. Many Muskoka Garden Centres currently have perennials at discounted prices. Check more about Bala Garden Centre and Port Carling Garden Centre here:
- Fertilize your lawn. It will help your lawn grow stronger roots, so it thrives when comes back in the spring.
- Bring in any clay pots to avoid damaging them. Since they are porous and easily absorb moisture, any changes in the temperature can cause them to crack as the clay expands and contracts.