Fall is a perfect time to set your landscape up for success in spring and summer. Follow this guide for our top tips on how to care for your flowers, lawn, trees and shrubs in fall.
- Divide & transplant perennials (while ground temperatures are still warm)
Cut the tops and stems down to a few inches above the crown at the base of each plant. Once you’re done, make sure you rake the beds and dispose of dead plant material so your garden still looks fresh during the winter months.
Note: leaving a few inches of plant material and mulching above the crown is better for the plants. If any critters decide to nibble over the winter, they’ll eat the few inches above the crown instead of eating the crown and killing the plant.
- Plant fall bulbs (before the ground freezes)
When you plant your bulbs, unless the label says differently, plant the bigger bulbs 8” deep and the smaller bulbs at 5”. Place the bulb in the hole with the roots facing down. Once planted, cover the hole with soil but don’t pack it. Water it once. Read our guide on planting fall bulbs.
- Clear leaves from flower beds
- Treat perennial weeds with herbicide
Spray perennial weeds (bindweed, creeping Jenny, clover, etc.) before the first freeze to allow the weeds to take in the herbicide and prevent a weedy garden in spring.
- Aerate your lawn – fall is the best time! The benefits are numerous:
- Improve air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
- Enhance soil water and fertilizer uptake.
- Reduce water runoff and puddling.
- Strengthen turf grass roots.
- Reduce soil compaction.
- Fertilize your lawn
Apply before the first freeze to ensure it looks its best come warmer weather.
- Clear leaves from lawn
Mulching the leaves helps return nutrients to the soil. If that’s not an option for you, raking the leaves and keeping your lawn clear of debris can prevent your lawn from being smothered and stunting new grass growth.
- Continue watering trees and shrubs until the first frost
- Protect your trees & shrubs
Wrap trees up to the lower branches using hardware cloth or tree wrap to prevent damage from deer rubbing. Cage small trees and shrubs in hardware cloth to prevent rabbit/rodent damage. Be sure to bury the cloth 2-3” beneath the surface.
- Do NOT prune evergreens until spring
- Remove leaves from under diseased plants and trees
If your tree/shrub had a disease issue, such as apple scab, powdery mildew, tar spot, etc., disposing of the diseased leaves will help prevent a recurrence next year.
Note: do not compost diseased leaves.
Prevention is best, so consider getting on a spray program
- Fertilize your trees and shrubs
Fertilizing in fall encourages root growth by restoring nutrients to the soil and allows for lush, healthy growth and flowering the following season.