How to Prep Your Yard for Fall
It’s true – summer is almost over. That means it’s time to prepare your yard for winter hibernation. When spring rolls around, you’ll be happy you did this prep work as you’ll be way ahead of the game! Here is your checklist of tasks to start tackling now.
Keep Mowing the Lawn
Continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing - yes, even if it's cold. If your grass gets taller than 3 inches it will mat, which could lead to snow mold. Don’t cut it shorter than 2 inches, otherwise you'll hinder its ability to make and store food for growth in the spring.
Seed & Fertilize
Fall is the ideal time seed and fertilize your lawn. Seed dead or bare spots and overseed the full lawn to get dense grass that’s rich in color.
Protect Your Walkways, Driveway & Deck
Now is the time to fill in those cracks in asphalt or concrete and apply a sealant to help prevent damage that can result from freezing and thawing. When it comes to your deck, use a pressure washer to clean the dirt and grime before sealing it.
Prune Trees & Hedges
Trim overgrown areas and remove dead limbs before they fall under heavy winter snow. As a general rule of thumb, trees and shrubs typically need a heavy pruning before winter to help prevent damage from snow and ice. Pruning can also be used as a way to control size for next spring.
Keep Watering Trees & Shrubs
Make sure all your trees and shrubs are sufficiently watered in September and October to survive the long winter. The amount of water depends on whether it’s a rainy fall season. If you receive less than four inches of rain for the month, you'll need one or two thorough hour-long waterings once a week for up to three weeks.
Make Your Garden Tools Shine Like New
Spend a few minutes wiping down your garden tools to remove debris and dirt. Applying a light layer of oil keeps them from rusting during the winter so they'll be ready to use in the spring.
Final Pack Up for Winter
Last but not least, bring in your sprinklers, nozzles and most importantly, hoses. Water in the hose will expand when it freezes and damage the hose. Be sure to shut off water lines to the outside as well. If you have an automatic irrigation system, having it blown out with compressed air before the water freezes in the pipes can prevent costly damage.
While this is not an exhaustive list, following these tips will help ensure the health of your yard – and tools - come next spring. If you have any other recommendations or ideas on fall yard maintenance, share them with us on Facebook.