Fall Lawn and Landscaping:
A Checklist

Temperatures are finally dropping (along with bushels of leaves) and that means fall is the season for cleaning up the yard and prepping your lawn and garden for next year’s springtime growth.

While aboveground growth is slowing in response to the cooler temperatures, the moist soil is still feeding strong root development. Although we believe the best dethatching time is early spring, if your lawn needs a good lawn dethatching, doing it in fall will help the roots develop even further. The nutrients in the rain need to get to the grass roots, and thatch tends to hold the water above the surface, where it eventually runs off or evaporates without feeding the lawn.
trimming a tree in fallAnd since fall is the time to trim dead limbs from shrubs and trees, it’s important to remove all the debris that gathers on the ground as you work. Protecting your lawn from debris coverage will promote lawn health as the seasons change.  (Note: you can safely trim your own bushes and shrubs if you like to do that, but for bigger trees, call in the pros.)

Time to Aerate

Fall is also the right time for aerating your lawn, because it will help to avoid rainfall pooling on the surface of the grass. And speaking of feeding the lawn, fall is a good time to fertilize the lawn to encourage root growth. This will help the turf green up earlier when spring arrives. On the other hand, your perennial plants are winding down at summer’s end, and don’t need to be fertilized — it will waste energy on leaf production.

You do want the lawn to have one more good trim –shorter grass has a better chance of resisting disease as it overwinters. And falling leaves have less places to get caught and stuck when the grass is short. Don’t cut below 1.25 inches, though, because grass makes most of its food in the upper blade.

Early fall is also a good time to plant next year’s shrubs. The roots can start getting established in the cool, moist soil, and be ready to leaf out beautifully in the spring. Talk with your landscaper about best shrubs for your specific garden and our climate.

irises need tending in the fall

Things to Do In The Garden

And while you’re thinking about the garden, pull up the dead annuals, and get rid of snails and slugs that feed and breed in the fall on those tired old plants. Perennials do best trimmed to the ground, because this sends energy to the roots –readying them for spring growth. Check to see if your irises and other tubers need to be divided and replanted.

After the first frost, but before the ground freezes is the best time for mulching your beds. This is another good job for the pros, involving tilling the old mulch into the soil and adding the right amount of fresh mulch to keep any new plants warm and to control erosion and water runoff. Too much mulch will smother the plants, but too little will not offer enough protection.

And, of course, get your sprinkler system blown out now to avoid nasty freezing and cracking problems once the ground gets really cold.

Ready for some seasonal lawn and landscaping? When you’re ready for the Springfield landscaping, contact Creation Lawn and Landscape now to have a beautiful, healthy outdoor property all year long!

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