Fall is looming and, in many parts of the country, that means getting your yard and your landscaping ready for winter's snow and cold temperatures. What you do this fall will help reduce the work you have in the spring as well as keep your perennials, trees, and bushes healthy over the winter.

Tips for getting your yard ready for winter

1. Weed Your Flower Beds One Last Time

Taking the time to weed your flower beds one last time in the fall will help prevent weeds from blooming throughout your garden and germinating in the spring. This one move will save you a lot of time next season.

2. Cut back the foliage on your perennials

It's also a good idea to cut back the leaves and spent blossoms of your perennial plants like hostas, irises, and poppies. This not only looks neater, but will help prevent disease and bugs from making a home in your plants.

3. Continue to water new trees and shrubs until the ground freezes

If you planted any new trees or shrubs in the late summer or fall, you'll want to continue to water them until the ground freezes. New plants need water every few days for the first year until their roots become well established

4. Clear away any debris

Any debris you leave on the ground this fall, like leaves and branches, will still be there in the spring...but, it will be wetter, looser, and nastier to deal with. Large blankets of leaves can also kill the grass underneath if allowed to remain in place all winter. Best to get rid of any debris in the fall, so you can start afresh with a healthy and well-manicured landscape in the spring.

5. Fertilize your grass

Most experts recommend fertilizing your lawn in the fall, about two to three weeks before the ground freezes. Fertilizing in the fall allows your grass to develop a good root system before the first frost. In addition, the morning dew in the fall helps the grass absorb the fertilizer.

6. Take in any plants that aren't cold-weather hardy

Tender plants should be moved indoors before the nightly low temperatures dip below 50

degrees. If you've planted tender summer bulbs, like cannas and dahlias, it's time to dig them up and store them in peat moss or straw in a cool (but not cold), dry place over the winter.

7. Store your ceramic pots and planters in your garage or shed

Ceramic pots are great for adding interest and color to your garden. However, these containers will crack and break when they are allowed to fill up with water and then freeze. Avoid that by storing them out of the weather. It's okay if they are stored in freezing temperatures as long as they don't have any water in them.

8. Plant spring bulbs

For spring color, plant bulbs like daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths in the fall before the ground freezes. In most areas, you can plant bulbs into mid or late November.

Taking care of your yard this fall will help you get a good start in the spring. Make sure to pull those last weeds, cut back your perennials, store your pots and clear away any debris before the snow starts to fly. You'll be glad, in April, that you spent the time in October and November. Want some assistance? Contact Olive Branch at (501) 513-7573 for a free quote.