Fall Landscaping Tips

man mows fallen leaves

Fall is beautiful in the Northwest. Vibrant greens turn to earthy tones of yellow, orange and red that float down to cover our yards. This dramatic change announces the arrival of winter and brings with it a lot of yard work. Here are a few tips for fall yard care and preparing for winter.

fertilizing

garden hose

outdoor faucet

lawn sprinkler head

sprinkler system control

woman raking leaves

  1. Fertilize your lawn.
    Apply winter lawn fertilizer by mid November. Your lawn will get a much needed boost when spring arrives.
  2. Winterize faucets and hoses.
    • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.
    • Turn off and drain outdoor faucets - if your outdoor faucets have an indoor valve, turn it off and then open the outdoor faucet to drain excess water.
    • Protect and insulate outdoor faucets with hose bib covers. They are inexpensive, easy to find at hardware and home stores and easy to install.
  3. Winterize your sprinkler system.
    If you have a sprinkler system, do the following:
    • Turn off the water at the main valve.
    • Turn off the automatic controller.
    • Turn on each valve, including the backflow valve, and let them release their pressure.
    Make sure all the water is out of the line but blowing air through the system with an air compressor. Be careful not to use too much pressure. You may also take off the sprinkler heads and close the opening with plastic, keeping it in place with a rubber band.
  4. 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.
    • Rake and compost. If you choose not to mulch, rake and compost leaves, especially from diseased trees, to create rich, garden soil for spring planting.

Following these tips will keep your lawn healthy and could save you a big expense.

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