As fall approaches, it’s tempting to spend time indoors next to a warm, crackling fire. However, there are still a few landscaping projects to complete before winter temperatures set in. These five projects will get your yard ready for winter and protect it until spring.
Summer foot traffic can cause the soil to compress under the lawn. If rain water pools up instead of soaking in, it’s a sure sign of compression. When water pools, it doesn’t get down to the grass roots which need it to survive. An easy fix for compression is to aerate the lawn with an aerator. This metal roller with spikes in it creates tiny holes that allow water to drain down into the soil.
The lawn also needs a final dose of fertilizer to strengthen grass roots before winter. Opt for a high-phosphorus, granular fertilizer such as 12-25-12. Apply it at the rate specified for your size lawn and water the lawn well afterward.
There’s nothing more important to landscape maintenance than lawn mowing. The lawn needs to be mowed one last time before you stow the mower for good, because shorter grass blades have a lower occurrence of disease. Cut the grass to a height of 1 1/4 inches, which still leaves plenty of protection for the grass roots.
Raking up leaves does more than just improve the yard’s appearance, it prevents disease too. Additionally, many grass varieties need sunlight in the fall to store energy for winter. The job is much easier if you rake the leaves onto a plastic tarp. This allows you to transport the leaves anywhere you want them to go, such as a compost bin.
You’ll need to remove any mulch around plants or trees that suffered from diseases during the warm months. Disease spores can overwinter in mulch and show up again in the spring. Dispose of the mulch and then spread a fresh layer to protect plant roots. Mulch should be at least 2 to 4 inches thick to protect against winter cold damage. Landscaping your yard this spring? Read our guide Bark Mulch vs. Rock Mulch: Which Is Better? to educate yourselves on the benefits and types of mulch available!
If you have any other questions regarding fall landscaping, don’t hesitate to contact GT Design & Landscapes for all your autumn lawn care needs!