Even though the growing season is winding down, there are some things that are best done in the fall to prepare for spring and all of the lawn and garden activities that it brings.
(1) PLANT. Fall is the best time for planting trees, shrubs, and many other plants because this is the time of year that many plants enter a period of dormancy and can focus on establishing their root systems in preparation for spring. Planting a tree is a great choice for reducing the amount of stormwater runoff that leaves your property. It’s estimated that during a single growing season, one large tree can absorb as much as 11,000 gallons of water from the soil and release it back into the air through its leaves.
(2) SERVICE. Fall is also a good time to assess, clean and service your lawnmower and other lawn and garden equipment. This includes cleaning or replacing air filters, changing sparkplugs, changing and recycling oil, properly emptying fuel, and having blades sharpened and balanced. Thoroughly clean, sharpen and oil hand tools before storing for the winter.
(3) TEST. Before applying any fertilizers or lime to your landscape, first test the soil in your yard. The soil test results will help you purchase and apply just the right product in the correct amount.
(4) MULCH. One of the best things that you can do for your landscape any time of the year is to apply organic mulch to garden beds. Some of the benefits organic mulch will bring to your landscape include stabilizing soil temperature, retaining soil moisture, adding nutrients, suppressing weed growth, and preventing soil erosion. And during the month of October, there is a ready source of organic mulch at hand. All of those leaves falling into your yard, crunched up and spread on garden beds or added to a compost pile, will decompose and deliver a host of benefits that your landscape will reap in the spring.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Fall Plant Sale – October 17 – 18 – Shop for herbs, sustainable trees, fall annuals, shrubs, natives, perennials and more! Call 414.3950 or visit http://www.bbgardens.org for details.
Community Awareness Day – October 22, 9am to 2 pm, The Summit – Hosted by Jefferson County EMA, exhibitors will be set up in the shopping center’s parking lot to answer your questions about preparing for extreme weather and other emergency situations. Jefferson County Storm Water Management staff will be there to distribute mosquito prevention kits and other resources. Call 254.2039 for more information.