Here’s a game plan for getting your yard winterized, your garden put to bed and your entry spruced up for the holidays.
1. Deal With Fallen Leaves
Rake leaves off of pathways, ground cover plants and lawns (or you can mow them into the grass). Instead of adding them to the green bin, put the leaves to work in your garden. Try spreading leaves under trees and shrubs, keeping away from trunks, where they can decompose slowly over the winter, adding nutrients and organic matter back into the soil.
2. Mulch Beds
Spreading a layer of bark mulch is one of the easiest ways to make a garden look well-kept if you have guests coming over, and it’s great for the garden any time of year. Mulching in fall and winter helps prevent stormwater runoff and protects tender perennials, bulbs and shallow-growing roots from cold damage as temperatures drop. Spread a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches deep (the deeper the better for cold protection) on top of any areas of bare soil in planting beds, making sure to keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches away from the trunks of trees or shrubs.
3. Spread Fresh Gravel
Give gravel pathways, patios and driveways an instant pick-me-up with a fresh layer of gravel. Topping up gravel on pathways by 1 to 2 inches can help keep boots drier and cleaner, reducing mud tracking into the house.
If you’re ordering for delivery from a local building-materials store, do so well in advance of the holidays and arrange for any assistance with spreading the gravel, if needed.
4. Clean Gutters
Clear leaves and debris from gutters, making note of any areas that need patching or repairing. Run a hose down your downspouts to loosen and free stuck leaves. Check that runoff from downspouts directs into garden beds, rather than onto walkways, and make any adjustments needed.