Close Up Of Woman Raking Autumn Leaves In Garden

Winter Is Coming: Prep Your Lawn and Garden from A–Z

Autumn is upon us, and that means it’s time to button-up your lawn and garden for winter. Here’s an A–Z list to ensure you don’t miss a thing:


  • Aerate your lawn. Invigorate and strengthen grass roots by allowing nutrients, air, and water to seep deep in these small holes.
  • Blow out irrigation lines. It’s critical to winterize your sprinkler system. Using an air compressor is an effective method to get the job done.
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil your tools (pruning shears, shovels, etc.). Say good-bye to caked-on dirt, sap, and rust. It may take some elbow grease, but you’ll thank yourself next spring when your tools are ready for action.
  • Dig up and dry dahlia & begonia bulbs. Place them under the cover of peat moss or vermiculite in a cardboard box, complete with air holes.
  • Empty hoses. Drain every drop of water from hoses to protect them from cracking. Coil and hang them in the garage, if possible.
  • Fertilize. Want a thick, healthy lawn in spring? Apply fertilizer a few weeks before the ground freezes.
  • Grab a rake. Although you may not have many (or any!) deciduous trees on your property, keep an eye out for stowaway leaves and rake up any you do encounter so as not to mat down grass during winter.
  • Harvest any remaining produce. Autumn is the time to harvest garlic and cool-weather crops such as broccoli and beets. Discard spent plants in a composter if you have one.
  • Inspect for dead patches. Reseed as needed. 
  • Jazz up a garden bed with mums. Chrysanthemums are a popular perennial flower that bring pops of color and add curb appeal in late summer and fall.
  • Kiss root damage good-bye. Move potted plants indoors or place them along an exterior wall to take advantage of thermal mass—this will help protect plants’ roots from freezing.
  • Lower your lawnmower. Readjust your mower back to the standard 2 inches for proper grass height for winter. 
  • Mulch it. Apply a thick layer of mulch at the base of plants to keep soil protected from the elements and to lock in moisture and warmth.
  • Nip frost in the bud. Cover tender plants overnight with plastic and remove in the morning.
  • Overseed your lawn with annual ryegrass. Cover crops increase the soil’s nutrients and help to crowd out pesky weeds come springtime. Be sure to use an annual (vs. perennial) seed.
  • Plant tulip & daffodil bulbs. A little work now brings dramatic results in spring.
  • Quash weeds. Fall is when weeds are at their most vulnerable. Choose an effective herbicide and say good-bye to those pesky perennial weeds.
  • Resist the temptation to cut back ornamental grasses. Trim dead stems, but protect the plants’ roots in winter by holding off on a full, dramatic pruning until spring. 
  • Store bulbs in a cool, dry place. A garage, shed, or closet works great.
  • Tidy up. Organize your tools and supplies, clear off your planting bench, and nest empty pots for easy storage.
  • Unearth annuals (including veggies). Compost them if possible.
  • Vetch it up. Hairy vetch, crimson clover, and creeping thyme are beautiful ground covers that will fix nitrogen in garden soil, combat springtime weeds, and help prevent erosion.  
  • Water during dry spells. Even when plants and grasses are dormant, their roots need moisture. It’s best to water in the morning to allow for best saturation and to avoid fungal growth.
  • [E]Xperience the rewarding feeling of tucking your lawn and garden in for winter.
  • You did it! Next up . . .
  • Zzzz. You’ve worked hard. Now take a rest over the winter.


Meridian Ranch is a thriving community of new homes in Falcon, Colorado. Designed by award-winning new home builders, our inventory of move-in ready homes offer low-maintenance living at its best. Visit us today and learn why Meridian Ranch is a top choice for your next move.