It’s finally here! The season that has us all breathing a sigh of relief after we’ve sweltered all summer, and now can bring out our cozy sweaters and scarves, and cool off for a while. Before we fully commit to the fall lifestyle, there are a few things that need to be done around the house in preparation for the cooler weather, especially when it comes to your landscaping. Take a look at this checklist and make sure you get your greens in order before they’re inevitably covered in white.
- Collect Leaves: Before you get started, getting all the leaves up off the ground is essential to making sure excess moisture does not get trapped underneath and suffocate grass or plants. What’s better, you can put them into a compost, making sure to aerate them every so often, and when spring rolls around you’ll have the perfect fertilizer to add to your plants the following year.
- Aerate Your Lawn: You can either use a garden fork or a walk-behind aerator to pull out plugs that will allow water and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn. Doing so will ensure your precious grass will live to see another summer.
- Don’t Forget to Fertilize: Fertilizing your grass into the fall might seem like a waste, but actually grass roots can continue to grow in temperatures down to 40 degrees F, so continuing to do through the fall so can ensure an earlier green spring.
- Trim Dead or Weak Limbs: In preparation for upcoming snow, be sure to trim limbs that are either dead or are on their way out as they can be easily broken off by wind or the weight of snow and ice. These sorts of conditions can potentially cause damage to your home, so it’s best to make sure you take preventative measures ahead of time.
- Cut Back Perennials: While you’ve got your trimmers out, go ahead and trim back your perennials as well. By trimming them down to the ground, this will breathe new energy into the roots and encourage lots of growth in the spring. You should also search for slugs and snails who love to breed in the fall and remove them before they make your plants their midnight snack.
- Plant and Mulch: Planting new shrubs in the early fall gives them time to establish roots in the moist soil. Once you’ve planted them, it is essential to layer mulch over top to insulate new bulbs and protect them from freezing during the winter. This will also prevent soil erosion.
- Mow a Final Time: For the last cut of the season, bring your grass down to just over an inch to prevent the spread of disease, and to keep the leaves from getting stuck on tall blades.