Fall Preparation Part 2 – I’ve Got You Covered.

As the weather turns even more unfavorable as the weeks progress, I am reminded I still have stuff that needs to be done in the yard before the ground freezes and the snow starts sticking to the ground. It’s really hard to do so when it starts getting dark at 5:00 at night. I used to be able to get quite a few things accomplished after work, but it just doesn’t happen anymore! I did, however, manage to help some of my plants take cover yesterday, and also started cutting some of my hostas down.

  • One thing I have not done yet is rake the yard. I have A LOT of trees in my neighborhood, and I would like to wait another week before I get the leaf blower out. The trees still have a lot of leaves on them, and I don’t want to have to keep going out and raking when I could just wait when most of the leaves are off the trees instead of another futile attempt. Haha!

Well, this is finally the second phase of my Fall preparation in the garden. It took a little longer to do it than I would have liked, but I finally got it done. Covering and cutting– it’s that simple. And I used only a couple of things:

For this garden session, I used some burlap and large garden shears.

For this garden session, I used some burlap and large garden shears.

Burlap is a nice, heavy-duty covering for any shrubs, trees or plants that you would like to protect from the weather or animals. It’s fairly inexpensive, and you can get it at hardware and home improvement stores. You can also purchase covers that go right over shrubs and trees to make things easier. I just happen to have burlap leftover and figure I will use this up before I buy anything more.

Large gardening shears or clippers, happened to be my favorite gardening tool. They are so versatile, and can be used for most of your landscaping needs. They pulled double duty for me when it came to cutting my burlap and cutting down my plants.

I have a couple of small emerald-green arborvitae out in front of my house. I started wrapping them first with burlap.


I wrapped the burlap around the arborvitae until it was completely covered. You can use anything to tie or clip the burlap on. There are ties that you can use, and I have known people to staple it and I myself have used metal ornament hooks to keep the burlap closed!


The next item on my “To-do” list for cleaning up was cutting down my hostas. I cut the old stuff down so the new can grow up next season.

For anyone who doesn’t know, hostas are a gardener’s dream plant. They are a hardy, shade loving perennial that will pretty much grow anywhere you put them. So, if you have a spot in your yard that you can’t seem to grow anything, chances are a hosta will do the job for you! And because they are so prolific and they grow so big, they can be separated, and people will give them to you just because they have so many.

There are several types of hostas, and I have quite a few. They grow HUGE and can be separated.

There are several types of hostas, and I have quite a few. They grow HUGE and can be separated.

Now my hostas have turned a beautiful yellow, and I need to shear them.


I really want to thank the Deer, for they have helped me out tremendously with my fall cleanup. (Future post will be coming!)

Deer LOVE hostas.

Deer LOVE hostas.

I just cut them as close to the ground as possible.


Voila! All done.


And I take the “garden rubbish” and dispose of it properly.


There you have it! Fall cleanup is a cinch! Lots of work no doubt, but very important if you want to start your next growing season out the right way!

Dig In To Some Great Fall Planting

Today was such a beautiful day, and it almost didn’t happen. Meaning, I had two big hurdles that I had to jump over to get any work in my garden done– 1. The Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots game was on. 2. My daughter came down with a cold yesterday. So, I did everything in pieces today.

For me, Fall garden preparation comes in two phases– the first one is planting spring bulbs. Here are some of the more common spring bulbs you will find in your local garden stores that are very affordable and readily available:

  • Crocus
  • Daffodil
  • Tulip
  • Hyacinth
  • Muscari, or Grape Hyacinth
  • Allium

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to my local garden store last month, and purchased some fantastic Allium bulbs. I figured I had to take advantage of the nice weather we are having and get these bulbs into the ground now, despite the fact I had a few setbacks.

Before I could plant my 35 new Allium bulbs, I needed my husband to roto-till some more of my yard for me! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures as I was tending to my toddler who was a little under the weather. But, I did get to take a picture of the extension later on when I finally got a chance to dig in and get planting!

To get started, I needed to gather the tools I was going to be using.

For this garden session, I will be using a bow rake, bulb planter, shovel and knee pad.

For this garden session, I will be using a bow rake, bulb planter, shovel and knee pad.

The first one being a bow rake. A bow rake is helps level off or loosen soil. This has 16 “tines”. This is excellent for evening out large mounds of dirt or other uneven surfaces. It’s also good for leveling gravel or mulch, or any other loose items for the garden.


The second one is a bulb planter. This tool comes in handy for the first-time gardener who has never planted bulbs before. You simply push it into the ground until the whole shaft of the planter is completely in the ground, and you will create a hole deep enough to plant a bulb. Now, once you become a pro at bulb planting, you will know that you can dig a whole between 5-6 inches deep if you don’t have a bulb planter handy, because that is the average depth that bulbs are planted.


Of course, your trusty shovel will come in handy if a part of your yard is too difficult to you use your bulb planter.

And…. a knee pad! The knee pad saves you from much pain, and they are cheap! I purchased mine at a dollar store!

How to Plant Your Bulbs

Here is my beautifully newly tilled spot for my Alliums, thanks to my husband:


I used the bow rake and shovel to remove all the “rubbish” which is the grass that was tilled up along with the soil. I got a whole wheel barrow full!

20141012_115053     20141012_115935

And then I reached for my bulb planter and got to work!


I simply pushed it into the ground, though you might have to put a little elbow grease into it. My yard has an exceptional amount of tree roots, and I had to use both hands to push this into the ground.

As I pulled the planter out, the center of it is filled with soil. This is what you will use to cover up your bulb with.


And then you place a bulb in the hole that you dug and cover up the bulb. It’s that easy!


Keep doing this until you have put all your bulbs in the ground. One good thing to know is that you can keep planting bulbs right up before the ground freezes. I planted bulbs in November last year.

It’s hard work, but you will be glad you did it when Spring comes and you can finally see the fruits of your labor!