After a long cold winter, there’s nothing like spring to get us excited about our outdoor spaces. But for us landscaping folks, fall is the prime time to tackle many lawn and garden projects.
1. You’ve heard us say it before- fall is the best time to plant! Perennials won’t have summer heat stress and roots have until it freezes to grow and spread.
2. If summer drought and heat knocked out any of your landscape, it’s a great time to replace it.
3. Fruit trees and berry brambles also thrive when planted in the fall.
4. Amend the soil as needed. Lime should be applied (a soil sample can tell you if you need it) in late fall because it takes months to be available for plant uptake.
5. It’s best to deadhead flowers all summer, but make a trip around your yard to be sure everything looks good. You can even harvest seeds from annuals and perennials (like marigolds and zinnias) to be planted next year.
6. Divide and transplant, or store, any bulbs that have gotten out of hand. You can also transplant grasses and perennials that have gotten overgrown.
7. Pull any annuals that are done for the season.
8. It’s a great time to create new beds while the weather is nice. They’ll be ready for planting in the spring.
9. Adding a 1-2 layer of mulch to beds helps spruce up the color and protect roots over the winter. Calculate how much you need here.
10. Remove tree leaves to keep the beds looking nice.
Pruning & Cutting
11. Wait to prune most plants until December or January, because that’s when they are dormant.
12. Chopping off dead tree limbs helps protect the tree against damage in winter months from ice and snow.
13. Cut back plants with disease.
14. Cut back tropical plants like banana trees and elephant ears. Make sure their bulbs are covered with plenty of mulch to keep them toasty warm.
Fertilization & Nutrition
15. Fertilizing trees and shrubs in the fall gives the fertilizer all winter to break down and become available for the roots.
16. Applying a probiotic, like Holganix increases microbes over the winter and into the spring.
17. Lime and iron can be applied to beds and lawns as dictated by a soil sample. If your beds are covered in fabric, peel it back a little and apply the nutrients to the root zone.
18. Plant your cool weather veggies anytime from Aug to October.
19. Garlic can be planted from October to November for next summer’s harvest.
Vegetable Garden Maintenance
20. Remove all dead material besides herbs- you don’t want disease or insect eggs to remain.
21. Add a layer of fresh compost or manure on top of the garden so it can break down all winter. Wait until spring to till.
22. Clean out your annuals.
23. Perennials can be taken out and placed in the ground to overwinter.
24. Some pots are made to freeze and others are not. Be sure you’re stashing the pots that can’t handle it in a garage or basement.
Fall is a great time to get out and spend time in your yard. Besides the exercise, fresh air, and sunshine, you’ll start spring with a yard primed for new growth.