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5 Fall Yard Maintenance Tips

5 Fall Yard Maintenance Tips

Fall Yard Maintenance Tips For Winter Prep

fall yard preparationWinter is coming, and not just on Game of Thrones. While we may not have to prepare our lawns and landscaping for years-on-end of cold, snow and ice, we do need to be ready for the usual four months that come around annually. Fall yard preparation is your final chance to ready your lawn and landscaping before cold weather sets in. It’s essential in protecting the curb appeal that you have put so much love and labor into creating. With that in mind, these handy fall yard maintenance tips will help you get the job done right. 

5 Fall Yard Maintenance Tips For Chicago & Northern Illinois

  1. Lawn Needs Aerating? Late Summer to Fall is the Time

If you’ve noticed pooling water on your lawn after a rain, that means it’s time to aerate. The soil has become compressed soil to the point that sufficient water and nutrients are having trouble reaching your lawn’s roots. When you aerate, make sure your equipment works good and deep. About 2 ½ to 3 inches. A good, fall aeration allows the plugs from the process to break down naturally by the time spring rolls back around.

Fall Yard Maintenance Tips Alert! There are any number of good products on the market that will do the trick. You just want to make sure you have the right aerating equipment for your lawn size. A garden fork is fine for small yards. For larger ones, you might want to invest in a walk-behind aerator.

  1. Starve a Perennial, Feed a Lawn

Late summer is the time to cut back on fertilizing your perennials as the start of fall yard preparation. Over feeding them at this time of year only encourages them to waste energy on leaf production, which can leave them with depleted resources over winter.

Grass, on the other hand, will benefit from fertilizing into late summer. Their roots continue to grow until ground temperature reaches about forty degrees. Applying a high-phosphorus mix in the fall encourages root growth, which will help your lawn  green up earlier next spring.

Fall Yard Maintenance Tips Alert! Plan a final mow during the fall, and trim the lawn down to 1¼ inches for its last cut. Diseases have a more difficult time taking hold with the grass is shorter. It’s important, however, not to cut lower than 1¼ inches. The majority of food production in grass is done in its upper blades.

An extra bonus to your lawn “crew cut?” Blowing or raking leaves in autumn is easier because the leaf fall has very little to snag against.

  1. Mulching in Autumn

As important as is it to your landscape’s health to mulch during spring, laying on fall mulch is every bit as essential during your fall yard preparation. You’ll want to spread a good thick blanket of about two to three inches around shrubs and trees.

Fall Yard Maintenance Tips Alert! Quality matters. If you get free mulch from your municipal dump, there is a risk of bringing plant diseases like leaf spot or insects like pine bark borers to your landscaping. Talk with the city mulch people and ask them about how high the disease and insect potential in their mulch.

  1. Don’t Prune. Remove Dead and Dying Plants Instead

Pruning shouldn’t be a fall routine. It’s better done during spring or mid-to-late summer, depending on the type of plant or tree. But that doesn’t mean fall is when you should hang up your shears, trowels and loppers. Fall is the time to spruce up and neaten landscaping prior to the coming of winter. Get rid of dead annuals, deadhead withered blossoms and cut back dry, brittle ornamental grasses and perennials. If you notice any dead limbs on your trees and shrubs, fall is a good time to take a saw to them.

The advantage to this 4th of our fall yard maintenance tips? You’ll feel better all winter long, looking at a neater yard. Especially knowing that these are several things you won’t have to add to your spring chores.

  1. That’s a Wrap!

As the temps drop and the leaves change, it will be time to protect less-hardy shrubs and plants with wrappings. Wrapping helps protect vulnerable landscape elements from snow, ice, and winds. Burlap is a tried-and-true product that has worked for generations. But a visit to your nearest hardware store or nursery will introduce you to a variety of wraps and protectors to take care of any plant wrapping you need.

Just because wrapping is the 5th of our fall yard maintenance tips doesn’t mean it’s not as important as the others. So do a little research to see what plants and shrubs in your landscape will be healthy in the spring because of a cozy winter wrap.

Questions? Country Landscape & Supply Is Happy To Help

Fall yard preparation is all about tucking your lawn and landscaping in for a cozy winter’s nap so that they will be at their greenest and most lush when spring returns. If you’re looking for a little more help beyond our 5 fall yard maintenance tips, we’re happy to assist you. Whether you’re just looking for advice or could use maintenance help for your residential landscape, we’re here for you.

Country Landscape & Supply, in Lemont, has served the Chicago since 1985. Stop by or call us at (630) 257-6800. Or use our Contact Page. We look forward to hearing from you.