Fall is a time where homeowners need to spend a lot of time out in their yards. Between the raking of leaves and prepping for the winter, autumn will require homeowners to find some time during their busy schedules to see to the needs of their yards. Here is a guide to getting your yard ready for fall.
1. Feed Your Yard
Lawns are most active during the cool months of the year. You need to take advantage of this by feeding your lawn when it will most benefit from it. You should do two feedings every fall to help it stay robust. The first feeding should come around mid-September. When the nights start to cool off, that is when homeowners need to give their lawns a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. A second fall feeding should be given to grass in late fall. When the leaves are mostly off the trees, that is the time to apply a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. These two fertilization treatments will give your lawn the energy it needs to make it through the rough winter, coming out on the other side ready to burst forth into lush new growth.
2. Repair the Damage
The summer does a lot of damage to your yard. The grass gets trampled down from heavy usage. The sun can bake brown spots into the lawn. When the weather cools off, it is time to repair this damage by reseeding. Be sure to at least reseed the areas that are patchy. It is preferable to reseed your entire lawn every fall. Make sure to throw a layer of soil or compost over the grass seed to keep it from blowing away.
3. Don’t forget to Water
Many people put away their hoses at the end of summer. This is a mistake. You need to water your yard every two or three weeks. This is true even when it is cold out. You should keep watering your lawn all through the fall until around Thanksgiving.
4. Forget the Pruning
One of the biggest mistakes people make is pruning plants in the fall. Autumn is a time when plants are shutting things down, getting ready to go dormant for the winter. Pruning encourages growth, which confuses the plant when it is getting ready to reduce activity. This weakens the plant heading into a barren time of year when it needs all of its strength. Wait to prune until the spring instead.
5. Keep Harvesting
Most garden plants can survive a few light frosts. Keep your garden going until you get the first heavy frost of the year. When that happens, you should plow it up. When you have turned the soil over, plant a winter cover crop like clover that will protect it.
6. Plant Trees
Fall is the best time to plant or transplant trees and shrubs in your yard. The cool temperatures make it easier for them to grow their root systems since they do not have to struggle in the heat. September is the best month of the year to plant trees. This will give them a few solid months to grow their root systems, priming them to burst forth into new life in the spring.