Fall yard care pays dividends next year

Autumn yard care can pay big dividends next year.

Topping or cutting back herbaceous perennials can help prevent the overwintering of diseases and insects. Mulching will help to prevent plants from being forced from the ground (but apply mulch after the ground is frozen). Watering lightly after applying the mulch will help hold it in place.

To prevent root damage during the winter, it’s important to have a reserve of moisture in the root zone for all plants in the yard. Fill the soil profile with water in mid-October or just before the ground freezes.

Broadleaf herbicides for lawns applied on a warm day will control dandelions, chickweed, and clover. Mow the lawn as long as the grass continues to grow. To prevent damage to the crown of the grass, cut the lawn five to six centimetres long.

Alberta Yards & Gardens: What to Grow offers detailed information on growing ornamental trees and shrubs, small fruits and berries, flowers, vegetables, herbs and water plants. The book costs $15 and can be ordered online at agriculture.alberta.ca or by calling 780-427-0391.

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