Autumn brings with it back-to-school shopping, apple picking, and corn mazes. Unfortunately, it also brings with it fall cleanup. Taking the time now to get your yard prepared for the cooler weather can save you effort and energy when spring rolls around next year. Here are a few simple must-dos to put on your fall cleanup checklist to ensure your yard is ready when the white stuff starts flying:
All those leaves, twigs, branches, and various other debris that’s fallen into your beds and gardens make an ideal home for pests throughout the winter. Piles of organic matter can also decompose, leaving your lawn susceptible to disease and fungus once the temperature begins to drop. Remove all fallen debris from your lawn to help fortify your property against unwanted guests and illnesses this winter.
Fall is the perfect time to aerate your property. All the hours spent outside in the yard playing in the summer sunshine can take its toll. By the end of the season, our lawns are often riddled with thatch and compacted soil. Core aeration can break up ground compression and dethatch your yard, leaving it ready to absorb vital nutrients, light, and moisture.
Follow up your aeration efforts with a round of fall fertilization. A fall fertilizer that’s rich in phosphorus can promote and strengthen root growth, helping to ensure it’s ready for a fast green-up come spring.
Give your ornamental landscapes, beds, and gardens an added layer of warmth this fall. Mulching along the base of trees and throughout decorative beds can help protect your plantings from the cold as well as pests, and diseases throughout the frigid temperatures.
During the growth season, our trees, shrubs, and plantings can get a bit unwieldy. Always include trimming and pruning in your fall cleanup efforts. Cut back any branches that are too close to the house and could cause damage in a storm. You’ll also want to eliminate any dead limbs branches and cut back overgrowth as well. If you have blooming perennials in your gardens, take the time to prune them now, so they are ready come springtime.
Some plants and bulbs are better suited for planting in the fall. If you’d like to refresh the look and feel of your gardens throughout late summer into winter, now is the perfect time to plant fall bulbs and annuals. A local lawn and turf professional can offer regional insight on the best choices for fall plantings that add an extra burst of color to your property.
Set your mower blade to a lower setting to give your grass one final buzz cut before winter officially descends for the season. Cutting the lawn shorter helps the soil dry out more quickly once spring finally rolls around, helping to promote a thicker, lusher, green yard.