“Slow down, you move too fast” was the lyrical advice sung by Simon and Garfunkel’s in a song from their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. (Can you name the song?) And you may just want to slow down, relax, and enjoy what still remains of summer’s bounty on the lawn and in the garden of your own back yard. But autumn’s arrival, with its’ cool weather and falling leaves, means it’s time to begin preparing your home and garden for the long winter that’s just ahead.
Keep on enjoying your lawn and garden while there’s still time! Pick fruits and vegetables as they continue to ripen and while they last. Encourage late bloomers and keep flowering plants going by protecting them from initial frost damage by covering them with plastic or cloth sheets, boxes, or newspaper tents. Make indoor and outdoor centerpieces from colorful fruits, veggies, gourds and greens. Revel in the glorious colors and fabulous flavors of fall for as long as you can.
Move Your Tropical Paradise Indoors
Your tropical plants loved spending the summer months outside, but don’t forget to bring them back inside once the weather turns cool. Ideally, you should bring them in before you turn on the heat. That way they’ll have time to adjust to the climate indoors first. Inspect tropical plants for insects or any other damage and cut them back a bit. Some leave loss or browning leaf edges is to be expected. Remember to water them as needed.
Protect Inanimate Objects Too
Drain and clean ponds and other water features in advance of the first frost. If water is allowed to remain in these items over the winter they could crack and break. Lawn ornaments made of stone are also vulnerable to freezing rain, snow, and ice. Either protect them from the elements or clean them and bring them indoors to be stored away until Spring.
Final Fall Cutting
Cut your lawn one last time. The grass should be between 2 – 3 inches in height. Then service your lawn mower and store it for the winter. Prepare your lawn for winter by aerating it, if the soil is compacted or if thatch is a problem. Apply fertilizer to improve the soil conditions and to provide adequate amounts of nutrients for healthy turf growth come spring.
Name That Tune
Those are just a few tips to help you get started in preparing your home and garden this fall. But do it now, before you look around, leaves are brown, and the sky is “A Hazy Shade Of Winter.” Oh, the name of that other Simon and Garfunkel song? If you guessed “Feelin’ Groovy” you were only partially (and parenthetically) correct. The complete title is “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”