Summer is on its way out, and fall is fast on its heels. Cooler temperatures and shorter days are becoming the norm, which means that the growing season is just about over. You may still have a few crops that are thriving and continuing to grow, but most of your plants are slowing down and dying.

Now is the time to get your garden ready for winter and do some fall landscaping.

Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter

Many people believe that cold temperatures are what bring plant growth to a halt during this time of year, but it actually has to do with the amount of daylight each day has.

Thus, even if you live in a temperate climate, you will see your plants slow down and/or stop producing. This is the time when you need to get your garden ready and do some fall landscaping. Below are some tips on how to do that.

Get Rid of Old Plant Growth

If you still have some plants that are producing, feel free to leave these until they are finished. If you have other plants that are spent and they are turning brown and dying, remove these from your garden. How you dispose of them will depend. If you have a compost pile, they can be placed in there.

If you have any root crops such as carrots, parsnips, beets, rutabagas, or turnips, these can remain in the ground for longer than aboveground plants. However, you’ll want to harvest them before you do any of the work listed below in your garden.

If you have potatoes, these can also stay underground if you so choose. If you have any that are above the soil, you will need to remove them so that they don’t become food for insects or rot in the fall sun.

Prepare the Soil

Once all of the plant matter has been removed, you’ll then need to prepare your soil. This includes tilling it. This will expose any insects that might try to overwinter in your garden. Getting rid of them now during your fall landscaping will reduce issues with pests when spring rolls around again.

After the garden has been tilled, you can then add a layer of compost, aged manure, leaves, or lime (if needed). All of these items will protect the soil over the winter months, as well as add nutrients to the soil.

If you want, as part of your fall landscaping, you may plant some cover crops that thrive in the winter months. This would include winter rye, Stonehenge cabbage, Southern Giant mustard, broccoli, or frisee, among other choices. These will keep your soil protected and add nutrients so that it is ready for your crops next spring.

Take Care of the Weeds

When you remove the plants and till the soil, this should take care of most of the weeds that are also growing in the area. However, if you have some stubborn ones that have taken over a section of your garden, you might consider covering them with black plastic or cardboard.

You’ll want to leave this in place throughout the entire winter, right until you’re ready to plant again next spring. Covering the weeds and blocking the sun should kill the plants and reduce the number of sprouting seeds.

While you are outside working on your garden, you might also take some time to get the rest of your yard in fall shape. Below are some of the things you can do to make your house look amazing during the fall season.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. Locate a place in your yard where you want to place them, and then prepare the soil. Dig a hole large enough for the root base. You’ll also want to plant the shrubs and trees deep enough that the roots will be covered, but not so deep that they can’t get water. Give the plants some support so that they don’t get knocked over in any fall storms that might tear through the area.

Maintain Borders

Whether in your garden or in the flowerbeds around your home, now is a good time to ensure that plants are staying within their borders. If you have shrubs or flowers that are growing over their enclosure, take the time to trim them back. Now is also a good time to remove any dead foliage and weeds.

If the grass has been encroaching on your garden area, remove it when you remove the dead crops. Try not to till this into the soil, as you may inadvertently get seeds mixed in. If that happens, you’ll have to deal with a lot more grass in your garden when spring rolls around.

This is also a good time to inspect your trees and see if there are any dead branches. If so, take care of them so that they don’t break and fall over the winter. You may also consider doing the same for any bushes you have in your yard.

Clean the Leaves

If you have trees in your yard that are shedding their leaves, as part of your fall landscaping, rake these up. You can put them on your garden to help with soil nutrients, or you can place them in your compost pile or dispose of them properly.

As fall draws near, the growth of the plants in your garden and around your home will slow down or stop. To keep your landscaping looking amazing and to have your garden ready for next year, there are some things you’ll need to do, including removing dead plants and preparing the soil.