There is a lot to enjoy about the fall season. Leaves are changing color, school is back in session, the heat and smoke from wildfires have subsided, and brown lawns are greening up again. As some plants prepare to go dormant for the cold season, it is a great time of year for planting. Fall maintenance is important too, so that plants have everything they need to thrive when spring comes. Now is the time for transplanting, pruning, lawn maintenance, and a seasonal clean-up of features across our outdoor spaces.
Maintenance for the Lawn
A great place to start with this maintenance is putting down fertilizer on the lawn. Thatching, aerating, and applying moss deterrent are just a few other tasks performed this time of year that pay off with nice benefits to our lawns. Lawn fertilizing products that include moss remover can kill two birds with one stone and help provide more consistent sod throughout. Aerating helps with drainage and improved lawn growth come spring. Thatching helps to cover troublesome bare spots. Both aerating and thatching should be done in early fall or early spring for best results. Fertilizing can happen anytime during the fall or winter, but is best applied in early fall. Follow a regular application regimen for the rest of the winter for great results. Of course, leaf cleanup might be the largest task this time of year. You don’t have to throw the leaves out, though. Using a compost system for those leaves can provide mulching material for shrubs and trees come spring time.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Shrubs and trees can also benefit from some TLC this time of year. Fall is the best time to perform pruning on many trees and shrubs, and also a great time to do transplants. Most perennials need to be cut back or pruned heavily to remove spent growth and to prepare plants for optimal growth in the following year. Bulbs and annuals need dead heading and pruning back to thrive in the coming spring. For many evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, fall is a good time to shape and remove unwanted growth. Re-applying a mulch layer to landscape beds is another task for the fall and helps insulate more tender root systems from the colder temperatures to come. Finally, don’t forget to winterize the irrigation system and water features before frost hits to avoid damage.