Get your yard ready for the cool season with these crucial tips.
Fall is a magical time of year. The leaves turn radiant colors as the temperature starts dropping, and even though Summer is over, the beginning of the new season feels like a fresh start. While some take the onset of Fall as a sign that yard-care is over for the season, it’s really a time for some maintenance musts. Your yard uses the cold season as a time to rest and repair for next year. With some additional help, your outdoor areas will come back fresher than ever. This seasonal checklist will ensure a healthy and beautiful landscape throughout the Winter season and into next year.
Aerate & Overseed
The end of Summer is the best time to overseed because the ground is still warm, moisture is plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day. While it would be nice if throwing some seed over your established lawn would be enough to strengthen your turf with new blades, it takes a bit more work. An overseed treatment needs to be in full contact with the soil that’s aerated for enhanced nutrient absorption. With good moisture levels and down-time, the seeds will germinate and establish roots before it gets cold.
After a proper amount of growth, the lawn will need one final cut before the winter season officially begins. Our “Caring for Your Lawn After Aeration and Overseed” blog details the steps you can take to make the most of your treatment.
Clean-Up Fallen Leaves
While walking through crisp, crunching leaves can fuel festive Fall vibes, the longer you let leaves cover your lawn, the larger the chance they will mat and gather with moisture from dew and rain. This makes for a more difficult cleanup and can suffocate the grass, causing it to brown. Having properly timed leaf removal will allow your lawn to breathe and nourish itself. Whether you decide to grab the rake and sweat it out yourself or maybe get the kids involved in yard work, it’s best to get those leaves cleaned up early.
Flower bulbs require good drainage, proper planting depth, and specific planting time to “chill” with the dropping temperatures. Meeting all these requirements can be tricky, but worth the payoff. With proper sunlight and enough time to root in the cold winter ground, you’ll have gorgeous tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, irises, and alliums bloom in Spring, year after year. It’s not too late to get them planted.
It’s crucial to properly shut down your yard’s irrigation and watering system before temperatures begin dipping below freezing at night. Not all irrigation systems are the same, but generally, this requires shutting off water flow, draining the pipes, and sometimes insulating equipment. Improperly winterizing your system can cause costly damage.
Control weeds and unwanted growth
Weeds can run rampant throughout the summertime. However, the cooler temps give you the upper hand in the battle against dandelions and a multitude of other unwanted growth species. Applying a Fall herbicide not only eliminates the weeds you have now but also prevents them from returning in the Spring.
Cut Back Ornamental Grasses
As soon as your ornamental grasses go brown, they need a Fall trim as well. This usually requires bundling, tying, and cutting down 2/3 or more of the height. As the cold season ends, the old-growth can prevent needed access to sunlight, delaying new growth.
One Last Mow
Your last mow of the season should leave your grass at about 3-3.5″ tall. Cleaning up leaves is a necessity so your turf can access fresh air and sunlight over the winter season. Fallen leaves will retain moisture, causing potential mold and root rot that can spread throughout your entire yard.
Add some Fall Color
Even though the end of the warm season means the natural die-off of many beautiful plants, adding mums, zinnias, pansies, and other decorative vegetation will continue to provide your landscape with color and life. If looking to add even more pizazz to your home, consider adding seasonal color with planters for your front windows or porch.
So even though the colder weather is starting to send us indoors, the outdoor yard-work is far from over. The Pros can help check off all of the items on your Fall to-do list. Call us to schedule Leaf Removal, Fall Clean Up, Pruning, and more to help prep your outdoor spaces for the colder seasons. Or get on our seasonal lawn and turf care schedule for worry-free regular maintenance.