With fall right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your backyard jobs as the weather cools down. This time of year is actually one of the most important for lawn care, as what you do at this stage can help prepare your lawn for the potential harsh climate and unpredictability of the winter months.
If you’re keen to learn about exactly what tasks you should be putting on your to-do list this fall, read on for a guide.
Keep Up Lawn Maintenance
During fall it is important to continue to mow your lawn and water it, even though the temperature may have dropped somewhat and the growth rate won’t be as quick. While you typically won’t need to cut so much off your lawn during the fall months (never more than one third of the grass at one time regardless), and won’t have to worry about watering quite so often, don’t neglect these jobs all together.
Fertilization is also a good thing to do during fall; it is actually considered by many experts as the number one time of year to complete the process. This is due to the fact that, while grass grows more slowly once the weather cools down, the roots and rhizomes down below the soil’s surface continue to be fast growing.
An application of fertilizer will deliver all the nutrients that grass loves and allow your lawn to grow some deep roots now and to hold on to a reserve of nutrients for the spring. For the best coverage when applying fertilizer, consider using a walk-behind drop spreader. This will allow you to apply a consistent, even layer.
Help Your Lawn to Stay Healthy and Looking Its Best
Fall happens to be the ideal time to complete a few other tasks which will help your lawn to stay healthy. For starters, it is the perfect time of year to consider lawn aeration so that water, fertilizer and oxygen can more easily reach the roots of the grass. You can either hire a specialist company to come in and do the aerating for you, or you can rent a walk-behind lawn aerator for a day or two to punch some holes into the soil and extract the plugs of dirt out.
During fall it is also vital to rake the many leaves that fall onto your lawn from above. Although this isn’t one of the most fun jobs around, it is important to remove the debris as quickly as possible. If you don’t, the leaves can stick together from rain and other moisture, and then form a mat that can suffocate your lawn and lead to fungal diseases. If you’d prefer not to rake the leaves up by hand, then you can use a lawnmower that has a vacuum-type system fitted to it to collect the leaves.
Another way to help get your lawn looking its best in fall is to fill in any bare or bald spots throughout it. The simplest and quickest way to do this is to use an all-in-one lawn-repair mixture that you can find at most gardening or home centers. These mixtures typically contain a combination of quick-starter lawn fertilizers, grass seeds, and organic mulch. Once it has been applied around the bald spots in the lawn, make sure you water every other day for around 14 days to help the grass grow.
Get Busy in the Garden
Fall is also a great time of year to get your hands dirty in the garden. There are numerous jobs you can complete, but adding mulch is a particularly beneficial one. Mulch is wonderful for gardens because it helps the soil to hold in moisture. This means you don’t have to water your garden as often, and it also helps to prevent weeds from cropping up.
In addition, as mulch breaks down into the soil, it adds nutrients, which in turn is great for all of your plants. Mulch will help to cover plants during the winter months too, and will protect them from freezing.
Another top job to do in fall is transplant any trees and shrubs that have outgrown their current locations, or which need to be moved for any other reasons. The cooler time of year before winter sets in is a safe period for these removals.
Similarly, fall is also a great time to divide up any bulbs. This not only allows you to control the size of plants, but also gives you new ones to put in other areas of your yard. Planting bulbs in the fall gives them enough time to grow before spring, when they can really flourish. Just make sure that wherever you plant them provides them with plenty of sunlight.