With summer winding down, now is the perfect time to start thinking about prepping your lawn and garden for fall. Many people think that once the temperatures cool down, they can ignore their landscaping until spring rolls around again. However, properly preparing your lawn and garden for fall can help ensure a healthy, thriving landscape come springtime. Here are ten tips for prepping your lawn and garden for fall.
Prune Plants and Shrubs
Pruning dead or dying branches from your plants and shrubs is one of the most manageable steps to take when preparing your landscape for cooler weather. Doing this will help promote new growth in the spring. Trimming back overgrown plants or shrubs is also a good idea to encourage new growth.
Keep Up with Watering and Mowing
Even though the weather is cooling doesn’t mean you can stop watering your lawn and garden. In fact, it’s essential to keep up with watering through the fall months so that your plants and grass are healthy going into winter. Additionally, continue mowing your lawn until it stops growing, as it helps to prevent diseases and pests from taking over.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is vital to help it recover from the summer heat and get a head start on growth for next year. Look for a fertilizer that has a high nitrogen content to give your lawn a boost. This will help promote root growth and prevent browning come wintertime.
Save Tender Bulbs
If you have any tender bulbs, such as dahlias or gladiolus, that you want to save for next year, it is time to dig them up and store them indoors. Be sure to clean off any dirt and debris before storing them in a cool, dry place.
Insulating your plants by applying a layer of mulch to your garden will help prevent weeds from growing and provide protection from the cold. Most plants need about 2-3 inches of mulch to be effective. Using the correct type of mulch for your plants is essential, so be sure to do some research before applying it.
Don’t just rake up all those leaves and throw them away. Instead, use them as mulch for your garden beds. Leaves make great natural mulch and will help protect your plants from the cold weather. It is recommended to shred leaves first to prevent them from blowing away.
Divide and transplant perennials
If you have overcrowded perennials, now is the time to divide and transplant them. Dividing plants helps promote new growth and prevent diseases. Be sure to water them well after transplanting.
Pull out annuals and veggies
Once night temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit regularly, it’s time to say goodbye to heat-loving annuals and veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and impatiens. Pull them out of the ground and compost them (or add them to your compost bin).
Aerate Your Lawn
If your lawn looks a little worse for wear after a long summer, you may need to aerate it. This involves making small holes in the ground to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. You can do this yourself with a hand-held aerator or hire a professional.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system, it’s important to winterize it before the first freeze. This involves draining all the water from the pipes so they don’t burst in the cold weather. You can hire a professional, but winterizing your system can be easily done without professional help.
Other Ways to Prep for Cooler Weather
If you’re looking for additional ways to prep your lawn and garden for fall, there are a few more things you can do to winterize your landscape:
• Plant cover crops: Cover crops help improve soil health and prevent erosion. They also add nutrients to the soil that will benefit your plants come springtime.
• Clean up debris: Be sure to clean up any debris from your lawn and garden. This will help prevent diseases and pests from taking over.
• Check for drainage problems: If you have any drainage problems in your yard, now is the time to fix them. This will help prevent flooding and water damage come winter.
Taking the time to prepare your lawn and garden for fall properly can help ensure a healthy, thriving landscape come springtime. Following these tips will help you get your lawn and garden ready for fall and winter so you can enjoy a beautiful landscape all season and have a lawn prepped and ready for spring.