Well folks it’s time. It seems to me like our spattering of 70 degree days are done for the year, which means you can trade in your lawn mower for a rake and don’t forget to wear your helmet when walking down the street, because those acorns hurt! It’s also time to put your plants to sleep for the winter. Below are some tips on what to do in the fall to make sure your raingarden comes back more beautiful than ever in the spring.
Inspection: Check to see if all original plant species are still present in the garden. Fall is a good time to plant replacements or any additional species. Remove leaves from drainage ways to ensure free flow of water into the garden. If a specific plant continually shows poor performance, fall is a good time to re-evaluate its placement and potentially move it. Consider shade-sun tolerance and soil moisture (too wet or too dry) as the main factors of poor performance.
Clean Up: Remove excess leaves. A small layer (less than 2″) of leaves may be beneficial to the garden as a source of nutrients and will often break down by next year’s growing season. Trim shrubs and trees during cool periods of late fall.
Perennial Division: Divide any large or overgrown perennials to plant elsewhere in the yard. These plants can be excellent gifts for neighbors and friends. To divide, dig up the entire plant, roots and all, and use necessary force (typically clippers are all you need, but maybe an ax is necessary?) to separate into smaller individual plants.
Mulch: Add mulch if necessary to maintain a 3″ depth.
Deadheading: Leave all non-diseased plant material in the garden over the winter. This provides food and habitat for many species of birds and small mammals. Also, leaving your plants up for the winter can create scenic value.
For more information on raingarden maintenance check out Metro Blooms’ complete maintenace guide on our website.