Fall brings stunning colors and crisp, invigorating days. But it also brings a carpet of fallen leaves, naked plants, and the warning of winter's cold embrace. And that means a lot of yard work.
Healthy, flourishing plants and lawns in spring, and an attractive yard in winter, requires a lot of work in fall. Here's a checklist of what should be done.
Areate so your lawn can breath and eat.
Aeration allows oxygen, water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil. We recommend core aeration because, compared to solid tines, core aeration removes soil plugs and thatch rather than punching holes, which compacts the soil. The soil plugs will breakdown naturally by spring.
Feed your lawn.
Fertilizing your garden plants in fall is not be recommended, but fertilizing your lawn is. Grass roots continue to grow until temperatures reach around 40 degrees. Fertilizing your lawn in fall will encourage root growth and help earlier and healthier spring growth.
Give your lawn an end-of-the-year cut.
When one of the last few sunny fall days arrive, give your lawn a final mow. Some experts suggest mowing lower than normal, others say keep it the same. What ever you choose, just do it. If you would like to learn more, this article has a lot of information: https://www.thespruce.com/how-high-should-grass-be-cut-2132358
Mulch or compost leaves.
Before the temperatures drop, the leaves fall. It means extra work but also free fertilizer.
Don't rake. Mulch. You can use your lawn mover to mulch leaves right into your lawn. You may need several passes of your mower to break the leaves down to dime-size pieces. Nature will do the rest and, come spring, your grass will be greener then ever.
If you choose not to mulch, rake and compost leaves, especially from diseased trees, to create rich, garden soil for spring planting.
Transplant and plant new shrubs.
The cool temperatures and increased rain make planting in fall less stressful for the plant and encourages root development. We have a great article on this subject. Click Here to read, “Fall Is A Great Time To Plant”
Give your garden beds a mulch blanket.
There are wide temperatur swings in fall and winter. This can be hard on your plant's roots. Covering the soil with a blanket of mulch will help insulate your plantings from temperature swings. It will also help suppress cool-season weeds.
Trim and prune.
To increase root growth, trim perennial foliage down to the ground. Every few years separate crowded tuberous plants like lilies, dahlias, and peonies. More space will yield more flowers. Pruning lifeless branches, as well as cracked, loose, and diseased limbs will result in healthier plants. We have agreat article with more details here: "Tree Topping & Pruning Best Practices"
A little work in fall will bring healthier plants in spring. Following this checklist will keep your yard and lawn healthy and looking good.
If you have any landscaping needs, CLICK HERE to request a consultation.