The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of garden and lawn care. Many homeowners think gardens and lawns need less care in the fall because crops and grass grow slowly, when in fact just the opposite is true. During fall, crops and grass are busily absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a dormant winter. By getting started with your preparation earlier, you, your garden, and your lawn won’t have to worry so much about the early New England freezes. Take a look at what you can do in summer to ready your garden and lawn ready for fall.
Prepping your Garden for Fall
As fall weather approaches, you need to change your gardening practices to get your landscape ready for the change of season. Start your work about six weeks before the first hard freeze.
- Tidy Up the Garden: Remove weeds, dead plants, and debris. You can add all organic matter to your compost pile after you clear out your garden.
- Pruning Trees and Plants: Look for discoloration, damaged, or diseased parts on leaves, branches, and flowers of your plants and cut them using garden shears or scissors.
- Harvest Crops: Harvest your remaining crops before you till your soil. You can harvest your remaining crops to use during the colder months. Also, you can collect seeds from your crops if you want to grow them again for next year.
- Aerate Soil: Your soil is likely compacted from walking over it during the summer months. Loosen the soil by taking a garden tool and dig up the top layer of the soil.
- Compost or Fertilizer: After the soil is loosened, pour a few inches of compost or fertilizer in your garden. A rich layer will replenish the soil’s nutrients.
- Mulch: Pour an additional, thin layer of mulch over your garden bed. Adding mulch during the summer and fall seasons can help prevent the starting cold from getting to your plants and start providing nutrition for the long winter.
Prepping Your Lawn for Fall
- Water Lawn: It’s important to keep your sprinkler systems going to make sure your garden and lawn get all the water they need. This helps your plants grow thicker, lusher, and roots grow deeper, which helps during the winter months.
- Keep Mowing: start to mow your lawn on a lower setting to make sure all the sprouting grass gets enough sunlight. By bringing the crown out of the shade, this will also help promote root growth which is very important for lawn aeration.
- Aerate Lawn: Lawn aeration is important if you have a lawn that’s been impacted by heavy equipment or lots of foot traffic. Roots require oxygen to grow and absorb nutrients and water. You can either use a spike aerator or a plug aerator.
- Weed Control: If weeds like dandelions have taken over your lawn, it’s time to remove them. Apply an herbicide now and weeds won’t return in the spring.
Want to learn more about the proper steps to successfully prepare your garden and lawn for fall? Dolan Landscaping can help. Contact us for expert lawn care techniques, lawn fertilization and maintenance services, as well as irrigation system services to keep your lawn looking green and fresh year round.