There’s plenty you can do now to prepare your yard or garden for winter, protect your plants against the elements and make sure that, come spring, your lawn and garden will be ready and raring to go.
Clean Your Gardening Tools
Cleaning spades, rakes and other tools at the end of the gardening season will prevent them from rusting over. In a large bucket, combine 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap with a gallon of hot water. Scrub each tool with a dishrag or sponge, and then rinse with clean water.
Wash Your Patio Furniture
Before covering your patio furniture or putting it in storage, make sure to remove a season’s worth of built-up dirt and grime. Combine ¼ cup of Dawn dish soap with a gallon of warm water, and scrub furniture surfaces with a dishrag or sponge. Then use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to power through scuffs and stubborn dirt. Dry furniture thoroughly with Bounty paper towels before storing or covering it. For more details and tips, visit this guide.
Clear out Your Flowerbeds
Rotting plant material looks unattractive and can even spread disease, so prune dead flower heads, remove old foliage, rake up fallen leaves and dig up plants that have seen better days. Help your soil retain moisture by adding a generous 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch (bark chippings, compost or pebbles) throughout your flowerbeds. Not only will this keep them looking tidy, but it will also help protect plant roots from the cold and deter cats and pests.
Show Your Lawn Some TLC
Give your lawn a final mow, and then use a rake to remove leaves and dried grass clippings. Improve drainage by making holes in the soil with a garden fork or running a spiked roller over the entire area. If you need to lay new turf, do so now before frosts set in, as the wet weather will help it bed down before spring.