A good mulch prevents water loss, helps control weeds, and can enhance the flower bed appearance. Grass clippings can be used but they deteriorate quickly and have to be replenished often. When lawns don't grow, clippings will be in short supply. Avoid bright colored mulches such as marble chips as they may attract more attention than the flowers. A neutral colored mulch is best. Because annuals are replanted every year, select mulches that decay when worked into the soil. Permanent mulches, such as bark or stone, interfere with replanting.
Before the temperatures start to dip toward freezing, be sure to disconnect hoses from outdoor water faucets and drain all excess water from them before storing for the winter to protect pipes from freezing. Close valves that lead to outdoor faucets and open the faucets outside to allow for drainage.