Summer’s finally over, and the cold breeze of autumn is finally starting to creep into cities. Leaves are falling from shedding trees, in preparation for the winter that’s just a few months away. This new season is the perfect time to do some lawn and landscape maintenance. You need to fortify your yard for the harsh, cold weather that’s just around the corner. This way, you’ll have fewer landscape issues come spring. Here are the essential chores you should do this fall.
Image by Giani Pralea
Deal with autumn leaves
You know it’s fall when your trees are shedding their dead leaves. Now, you have the cumbersome task of getting them off your lawn. Keeping them on your lawn can attract critters that need shelter and warmth. You don’t want to end up with eaten-up leaves and grass because of armyworms, billbugs, and beetles hiding in your dead leaves. Get a leaf rake, which is made explicitly for this task. It’s significantly lighter than the usual steel rake and has a longer handle, making it easier to rake fall leaves without hurting your back.
Take advantage of the autumn breeze by raking with the direction of the wind. This way, you don’t have to recollect every leaf every time they fly back into your lawn. Matthew Cook, manager of the arboretum at the New York Botanical Garden recommends mowing the leaves into the lawn, effectively making a mulch that conserves the soil’s moisture and keeps it toasty from the cold wind. The dead leaves also provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Fertilize your lawn and plants
You need to keep your plants as healthy as possible in preparation for winter. This way, they’re more resilient against freezing and get enough energy to survive ’til spring. Apply fertilizer during early and late fall. Because you’re doing this to keep plants healthy during winter, you should use a slow-release fertilizer. This lets out nutrients gradually throughout a couple of weeks. This way, your plants continuously get nutrients when they need it the most: during the harsh, cold season.
Plant, plant, plant
Fall is the perfect time to overseed. Fill in every bald spot and patch. Having a dense lawn filled with grass and plants is your best defense against weeds. Having a dense yard also keeps your plants close together during winter, which creates warmth. Overseeding, however, can be challenging. You need to keep them nice and moist until they sprout. As such, you need to check on them regularly throughout the season to see if they’re growing properly.
Keep plumbing in good shape
Your fall chores are all about preparing for the season ahead. During winter, your pipes can freeze up and possibly burst, creating issues for every part of your home that needs water — from your bathroom to your outdoor sprinklers and hose. Work with an expert plumber to winterize your plumbing just as fall is ending. They’ll help you drain excess water out of your pipes, valves, and tanks. They can also insulate your pipes with nitrite foam to keep it nice and toasty during these colder seasons.
Autumn is a beautiful season, with the wind getting colder and the trees developing beautiful warm colors. However, the enjoyment must also come with a bit of work, as you need to prepare your plants for the cold season. You need to put in a lot of time and effort into these tasks, but they’re well worth it when your plants stay healthy and warm throughout fall and winter.