Preparing Your Yard & Gardens for Fall by guest blogger Christy Erickson
Now that the leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors and the air is getting cooler, you know that fall is finally here. Whether it was a hot summer in your region or a mild one, you’re still looking forward to everything that autumn brings: football, Halloween, apple picking, and much more.
However, your yard and gardens are not looking forward to the season. Both can suffer in the cooler weather, and winter will soon be here with frosts and snowfall. That’s why you need to prepare the outside of your property for fall. Not only will this help your plants survive, it will keep up the curb appeal (and thereby the value) of your home.
Keep Your Lawn Looking Great
A huge part of curb appeal is your lawn. A wide stretch of deep green grass in the front and back of your home shows everyone that you take good care of your home. To do that for fall, Popular Mechanics lists several lawn care tips, such as
● Drop your mower’s blade to its lowest setting and keep mowing. Shorter blades of grass allow more sunlight to reach the lawn. It also means the lawn has an easier time getting nutrients and water to shorter blades, helping it stay green.
● Aerate your lawn. This allows more water and oxygen to get deep into your soil (you can typically rent aerators at your home improvement store).
● Keep raking up those leaves. Even though it’s a pain, a cover of leaves will soon suffocate your lawn.
Even when you’ve raked up all of your leaves or have a patch that doesn’t get many, HGTV says you still need to rake your lawn. This tears out the dead grass and bits of debris that can sicken a lawn. You’ll also want to use an autumn lawn fertilizer and sow grass seeds. If your region is dry, water the lawn so the nutrients and seeds get into the soil.
Protect Your Gardens
If your landscaping has a garden or two in it, you can’t simply treat it exactly the same way as your lawn. Raking a garden full of vegetables or flowers is just a bad idea. Thankfully, Redfin has an excellent page outlining some fall gardening tips:
Clean up any dead plants (including those pesky leaves) and compost them. It makes your garden look better, and the compost can also help your garden stay healthy in fall and winter.
If you are thinking about making any changes to your gardens or landscaping, now is the time to plan them out. Things grow fast in spring, so start digging now to take advantage of the slower growth in fall.
Examine your garden and look for ways to conserve water. Xeriscaping is when you design gardens and landscapes to look great but use less water.
Put mulch down around your garden plants. This insulates the ground and helps reduce the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle that hits during winter.
What To Plant During Fall
As you prepare your lawn and gardens for the cooler weather, you might want to consider planting something new. There are a lot of plants that are perfect for fall planting, especially because many will bloom beautifully come spring.
You want to focus on plants that are hardy and long-lived like perennials. Pick some early bloomers such as hellebores that can blossom in winter or astilbes that flower early in the spring. Pansies also make great fall plants. Getting them into the soil in fall allows them to grow roots deep enough to survive winter and look great in the spring.
Get Outside Already
Before you kick back to watch some football or get ready for Halloween, you’ll want to prepare your lawn and gardens for fall. Getting rid of fallen leaves, adding some fertilizer, and planting some hardy perennials can make sure your landscaping looks amazing for many seasons to come.