Improve Your Grass
Cut back on next year’s upkeep by fertilizing and reseeding your lawn now. A good winter fertilizer will have a balance of nitrogen and potassium with an extra dose of phosphorus to strengthen grass roots. Repair bald spots by raking the surface, throwing down some seeds, covering with compost and watering deeply. Mow one last time and keep your grass fairly short so it won’t be damaged by frost. Be sure to leave the clippings on your lawn since they will decompose and add even more nutrients to the soil. Empty the lawnmower’s gas tank after mowing and store it away.
Relax the Raking
Use your leaves as mulch instead of bagging them -they make the protective cover for flowerbeds and shrubs. You can also throw them into your compost for next spring’s fertilizer. Wait until the ground freezes to use your mulch-usually 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) is enough to protect against extreme cold.
NOTE: The only time you can’t compost your leaves is when any of your trees or shrubs have a fungal infection like tar spots (black or yellow spots on the leaves). If your garden has a fungal infection you must rake up all leaves to prevent the infection from spreading.
Stop Unwanted Visitors
Bite the bullet and do one last weeding. Pulling up weeds before they have time to spread their seeds will save you weeding in the spring and summer. Throw any healthy weeds into your compost. Stop small rodents and other pests from moving into your garden by cutting back tall grass and cleaning underneath shrubs and trees.