A Healthy Autumn Landscape

With the chill in the air, Halloween just a few weeks away, and Christmas creeping into our gift shop, it’s finally starting to feel like fall. Gardeners are getting excited about planting mums, pansies, and fall color perennials. But there’s more to fall landscape maintenance than establishing cool-weather blooms and planting spring bulbs.

Fall Lawn Care

cool-season pansiesIf you’ve aerated and overseeded your fall fescue, you’re on track to preparing your yard for the dormant season. Rake fallen leaves from your yard to prevent wet foliage from smothering your new shoots and encouraging fungal growth. Grass stalks grow more slowly as the weather cools, and grass roots establish much more quickly in the fall. Fertilize your lawn so your roots will have nutrients as grass growth slows. Autumn is prime time for weeding, so clear your yard of unwanted vegetation before it gets a nutrient boost from your fall fertilizer. Set your mower blades to 1.5 in or higher for your last fall mow to ensure your lawn is insulated for winter.

Fall Garden Maintenance

Whether you’re caring for spring bulbs or planting cool-weather perennials, fall is the time for flower maintenance. Divide and replant overgrown perennials, prune damaged stalks before the weather gets too cool, and fertilize your fall flowers so they’re fed for the winter. If you didn’t aerate your flowerbeds with your lawn, mid-autumn is a good time to loosen the soil. If your dirt gets too compacted, the roots of your plants won’t get sufficient sunlight, water, oxygen, and nutrition. Begin winterizing your shrubs and trees in early November to protect them from early frosts.

Stop by the Ace of Gray garden center for lawn maintenance tools and tips.

photo from flickr