Fall Maintenance Checklist for Your Yard

Fall maintenance makes spring cleanup easier.

With just a weekend of work this fall, your yard will be ready for the harsh demands of winter. Add these tasks to your fall maintenance checklist to make spring cleanup easier and prevent plants and trees from suffering winter-weather damage. 

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Aerate the lawn - If your lawn is prone to puddling when rain falls, you may need to aerate. This helps water reach the roots of the grass and decompress the compacted soil. A garden fork can accomplish this in a small yard; if your hard is bigger, rent a walk-behind aerator. 

Fertilize the grass - It may seem counterproductive to fertilize the grass come fall, but doing so will help the grass develop deep roots and encourage earlier spring growth. 

Mow once more - Before the leaves blanket your yard, mow the grass one final time until spring. If you like, leave the grass clippings in place to nourish the grass. 

Mow one final time before spring.

Rake - Collect the leaves as they fall so they do not rot in place. Consider composting your leaves by putting them in a pile and turning them once a week. 

Plant shrubs and bulbs - Fall is a great time to plant shrubs and spring-flowering bulbs. Go shopping and then spend the weekend planting to enjoy great spring flowers. 

Prune trees and shrubs - Trim away dead limbs from trees and shrubs now, to prevent them from breaking under the weight of snow fall. Also remove any branches that show signs of disease, to protect the health of the plant. 

Mulch - Mulch helps conserve water, nourishing trees and shrubs through a long winter. Give all trees and shrubs a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch to keep plants healthy through winter.

Mulch nourishing trees and shrubs throughout winter.

Remove annuals and trim perennials - Giving your garden beds extra attention will make spring maintenance easier. Cut back perennials; dig up and divide any perennials that are too crowded in their current space. Remove spent annuals and compost them if desired. At the same time, dig up summer bulbs if you would like to save them and re-plant them come spring. Dahlias, cannas, caladiums and other bulbs all store well. If these bulbs are hardy to your area, you can leave them in the ground and rest assured they will bloom again. 

Bring container plants indoors - Move any container plants indoors for the winter. When frost danger passes in spring, you can move them back outside. 

Tackle these tasks all at once, or spread them out to make your workload lighter. A little extra work now will make your springtime cleanup much easier. For more home and garden design tips please visit homechanneltv.com

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