How To Clean Your Yard In Fall: The Essential Guide

For some gardeners, the end of summer also means the end of lawn care. This can be a relief, as maintaining your yard can take up a lot of time, and the winter months will give you more energy to spend elsewhere.

However, just because the weather has changed does not mean that your workload will have. 

Fall can be the ideal time to prepare your lawn for the upcoming summer months, and the work you do now will ensure that you will have a fresh, green lawn come the warmer season next year.

If you want to take care of your lawn this fall, keep reading this guide.

8 Tasks To Tackle Before Winter

There are some simple tasks you can perform now in your yard to get it prepared for winter and ensure its health in the upcoming warmer months.

  • Remove Any Debris

The fall is a beautiful season, but one that causes a lot of organic waste to accumulate in your yard. Leaves and other organic debris can be a haven for mice and other pests, so you need to tackle it before it can become a problem.

As the leaves fall during autumn, you will want to regularly take a brush to your yard and remove the debris before it builds up. Not only will this attract pests, but fallen leaves can also smother the lawn and prevent growth which is why you should tackle it regularly.

You can use a tarp to capture all of the fallen leaves as you brush them, making it easier to remove all debris at once. 

  • Take Out Dead Shrubs and Trees

The end of summer is a great opportunity to declutter your yard. If there are any trees or plants that have not grown over the warmer months these can be removed, as they are not going to survive the winter either.

You can check for signs of life by scratching the bark at the base of the tree or shrub. If you see green, then the plant is still alive, by anything else can be removed.

If a tree or shrub is completely dead, it is best to remove the entire thing and get rid of the roots before the ground freezes. 

  • Don’t Stop Mowing

Fall cleanup of the garden is all about helping the lawn finish strong so it can return healthy in the summer. This means that it is important to continue mowing and watering the lawn as needed in the fall season.

As the season draws to a close and the temperatures drop, set your mowers’ blades to the lowest setting for the last two cuts of the year. This will help sunlight reach the crown of the lawn and enhance growth, ready for the new season.

  •  Aerate The Lawn

Aerating the lawn will remove thatch, reduce soil compaction, and make the grass look great. 

With excess thatch or organic debris, the lawn can be smothered, which will starve the roots of essential nutrients like air and water and limit growth. The best time to aerate the lawn in the fall to ensure it is healthy next season is during the growing season.

Grass can heal and repair easily once the soil plugs are removed.

The easiest way to do this step is by either buying or hiring a gas-powered aerator from your local garden center. Small lawns can be aerated using spike soled shoes, but you will need something more powerful for larger gardens.

  • Add Fertilizer

If you want to experience the pride that comes from having the greenest grass in the neighborhood, then you will need to get prepared now. Green, healthy lawns need a little more than just water and sunshine, which is where fertilizer comes in.

The cooler temperatures of fall, along with the morning dew, make a perfect environment for fertilizing the lawn. Fertilizing the lawn during this time will ensure the grass will maintain its strength and look great in the summer months.

  • Mulch Around Plants and Trees

Several major benefits come from mulching around plants during the fall, including preventing soil erosion and suppressing weeds.

When mulching plants in the garden, make sure that the cold weather annuals and perennials have at least a two to three-inch layer of mulch as this will protect them as the temperatures fall. 

  • Rake Over Bald Spots

If your lawn is looking patchy after a summer spent outdoors, the fall is a great time to manage those bald spots so the grass will be full and fresh again next year.

The easiest way to handle dead areas of the lawn, which cause bald spots, is to apply an all-in-one lawn mixture with a rake. You can buy this mixture from your local garden center or home improvement store.

Usually, this mixture contains a combination of grass seed, fertilizer, and organic mulch, which will repair bald spots.

  • Continue Garden Maintenance

As the temperatures fall, it may be harder for you to get outside and do the regular maintenance of your garden. But you should not forget to continue with your garden maintenance in the fall, such as watering plants and removing weeds if you want to ensure health in the spring.

In the fall, continue watering plants, and they will thank you for it all winter.


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