Leaves are beginning to fall, which means it’s time to trade in the lawnmower for a rake. However, raking isn’t the only task to accomplish with fall landscaping. There are a few other things to keep in mind when taking care of your yard to ensure a safe winter and easy transition back into next spring.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aerate the compressed soil from rainfall pooling in your grass so that the water and nutrients can reach roots. For smaller yards, a garden fork will do just fine but if your yard is bigger, a walk-behind aerator will better assist you.
Feed the Grass
Grass roots will continue to grow during fall until the ground gets close to 40 degrees, so spend this time to feed the roots with a mix that will encourage them to come back greener in the spring.
Give it One Last Good Mow
Trim the yard down to about 1 ¼ inches for the season’s final cut. Fallen leaves will be more likely to blow across the lawn if they have nothing to attach themselves to.
Avoid Letting Leaves Remain on the Ground
While you can’t be outside to catch every leaf as soon as it falls, don’t let large piles hang around for days on end. Try to rake at least every other day so that the leaves won’t hinder growth and nutrient consumption in the grass.
Get a Head Start on Shrubs
If you plant your shrubs early in the fall, plants will have an early start on establishing roots in the cool and moist soil.
Remove Dead Limbs
Dead branches can snap and break under winter weather, which could pose a threat to your yard or your home itself (take a tree near a window, for example- branches could crack off and come through the window which would make for a costly repair). Cut those loose or cracked limbs close to the trunk to avoid any potential issues.
Prune the Perennials
Snails and slugs tend to breed in the fall and feed on sleeping plants. Trim your foliage down to result in healthier spring growth.
If you have irrigation tubing or sprinkler systems in your yard, shut the water connection off to those as standing water could freeze in cooler temps and crack the tubing. Taking care of this now will help you avoid having to uproot your whole system when the weather warms back up.
These are all simple steps that can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the school season. Be sure to take care of these tasks before the holidays begin to ramp up. Your springtime self will thank you!