Now that fall is here and the weather is progressively getting cooler, it’s time to tick off a variety of tasks around the yard that will help your lawn and gardens to stay looking their best during the coming months. Read on for some jobs you can do today to prepare your outdoor areas for the chill and unpredictability of winter.
For starters, it’s important not to neglect your lawn as the weather turns cooler. For example, even though there is less heat around to dry out the grass, it is still necessary to ensure your lawn gets enough water so that it doesn’t die off. Mowing is another job that can’t be put aside during fall, because trims help the blades to stay healthy. Continue to cut your grass periodically, but just make sure that you don’t remove more than a third of the length at any one time.
Planting some new grass seeds and fertilizing your lawn should also be on your job list at this time. You should complete some overseeding, whereby you plant grass seeds directly onto existing turf without having to tear the grass, or the soil below it, up. Planting grass in fall like this helps to fill in any bare spots which may have opened up in your lawn over the hot months of the year, and it also improves the density of your turf. In addition, adding new seeds can help to enhance the color of your lawn and improve the grass varieties it contains.
When it comes to fertilization, fall is also the perfect time of year to complete the task because, although the top layer of grass you see is growing more slowly as the weather cools down, the roots and rhizomes down below the surface of the soil are now growing more quickly. As a result, they’re primed to really make full use of any fertilizer you spread around.
There are various types of fertilizers you can choose from, so make sure you pick something that suits the particular type of grass you have, and the time of year and specific results you may be after. To get the best coverage possible, it also helps to use a walk-behind drop spreader for a consistent layer. If you don’t own one of these tools it’s easy enough to rent one for a day or two.
During fall you should also consider doing some lawn aeration. This will help your grass to absorb fertilizer much better, plus it also makes it easier for water and oxygen to reach the roots and improve the lawn’s growth rate.
This time of year is also a period where your grass is probably being bombarded with fallen leaves. Don’t let these accumulate and stay there for too long, since once they get wet they can stick together and form a mat over the grass which can promote fungal disease and suffocate the lawn at the same time.
In fall you will also have plenty of gardening tasks to keep you busy. For example, it is beneficial to add mulch to your gardens now as this adds nutrients and helps to stop lots of weeds from popping up. Mulch also reduces the regularity and amount you have to water, because it helps the soil to retain moisture. Furthermore, mulch applied during fall will protect your plants from the cold weather and stop them from freezing.
The fall months, when the weather is cooler, are also a good time of year to move any plants or trees which have become too big for their current position, or which you need to relocate for any other reason. You should also divide up any bulbs around your garden that you’d like to create new plants from. When you plant these bulbs now, this gives them some time to grow somewhat before spring hits and they can really flourish. Note, though, that it’s important to plant your bulbs in a part of your garden that receives maximum sunlight.
Freshening Up and Cleaning Fixtures
Lastly, before the cold really sets it is pays to spend time cleaning your gardening equipment, and tidying up the fixtures and fittings around your yard. Give your shovels, secateurs, lawn mowers, and other equipment a good wipe over and try to store them away while they’re not being used so that they don’t end up rusting out. You should also look at painting, repairing, and otherwise freshening up fences, garden benches, sheds, patios, and other outdoor areas, before it is too cold to spend time out in your yard doing these kinds of jobs.