Gardening Tips — October 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Prepping Your Yard For Fall

Prep-yard-for-fall

Fall can be a very busy time as kids go back to school, all four major sports are in play, and daylight hours continue to shrink. However, if you wait until spring to tend to your yard, you’ll find it’s too late to get the growth results you’re expecting. Here are a few simple, quick tasks you can focus on this fall which will pay big dividends come next spring.

1. Feed your lawn – Probably the most important feeding of the year, a fall feeding helps your lawn recover from damage of hot, dry summers and provides valuable nutrients that can be used for important initial growth come springtime. Depending on your location and the length of your local “fall” season, you may want to add an additional feeding before winter. Most fertilizer companies offer a special fall blend as well.

2. Over seed your lawn – Between the heat of summer and the increased activity that comes with longer days and kids out of school, chances are your lawn has taken a bit of a beating. Fall is the perfect season to add some seed to thin or bare areas as the days are warm enough for growth but cool enough to allow new seeds to grow without drying out to quickly. Quickly rake out any dead grass or thatch, use a spreader to evenly distribute the seed, then add a tiny bit of top soil to lightly cover the new seeds. After that, just keep the seed and young grass watered and hold off on applying any weed control chemicals until the new grass has grown enough to be mowed 3-4 times.

3. Swap summer blooming plants for fall bloomers – A great way to keep color through the fall season, visit your local garden center and look for fall blooming plants to replace your tired looking summer flora.

4. Clean up gardens and planters – Many perennials will be past their blooming times as fall approaches and need to be pruned to keep them healthy. If left untouched, they become breeding grounds for bugs and disease. Cut them back in fall and watch them grow even better come spring!

5. Mulch your leaves – Don’t just leave the leaves from surrounding trees on your lawn as winter approaches. According to Scotts.com, the leaves don’t insulate your lawn during winter as many people say. In fact, they block sunlight and thin your grass. Instead, mulch the leaves with a lawn mower then proceed with your fall feeding.

6. Plant tress and shrubs – Fall is a great time to plant new trees and shrubs. The temperature of the ground reduces transplant shock and they’ll be ready for prime root growth come early spring when everyone else is just starting to shop for their new trees!