Fall Lawn and Garden Tips your Yard Can’t Live Without

The fall season is no time to take a break from yard maintenance - especially since it is an ideal time to help your lawn recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter's harsh conditions. Giving your garden extra attention and performing fall lawn maintenance not only helps to restore any troubled areas, but it also gives you the chance to complete a handful of other routine yard projects before the cooler temperatures keep you indoors.

Get your lawn and garden back in shape and ready for the coming seasons with these fall lawn care tips.

  • Reseed: Heavy foot traffic and extreme summer weather conditions like heat and drought can cause bare areas of grass throughout your yard. If you notice any thin patches while inspecting your lawn, reseed those areas, giving grass time to establish strong roots needed for growth in the spring.
  • Plant bulbs: Give your spring garden a head start by planting bulbs 5" to 8" deep, depending on the size, with the pointy end up. You can also plant bulbs in clusters. However, since bulbs can be hard to tell apart, be sure to keep the labels intact until they are planted. 
  • Compost: Fall isn't too late to start a compost pile, as it takes six months to one year to develop into rich soil you can use in your garden. Keep in mind, compost decomposition slows down during the cooler months, which is why it is important to retain heat needed for decomposition by refraining from turning your compost pile.
  • Prune: Fall pruning is considered the best preventive maintenance for non-flowering trees and shrubs. It is best to prune trees after the leaves fall off, during the dormant season. Prune diseased or dying branches throughout the season with a bypass lopper or pruner to achieve a precise, clean cut. Anvil pruners are best used to cut dry, hard or dead wood.
  • Weed: Though a year-round yard task, it's extremely important to pull as many weeds as possible in the fall. As cooler temperatures set in, weeds start to store food in their roots for the winter. Prevent weed regrowth by pulling or digging weeds out of the ground with a weeding tool or use a homemade weed control solution, such as a combination of vinegar, water and dish soap.
  • Dethatch: Thatch buildup (greater than 1/2") prevents water, air and nutrients from reaching the soil, inhibiting grass growth, and can also attract pests and lawn disease. Reduce thatch by aerating, which brings up small soil cores to the surface of the lawn to relieve compaction and drainage problems. For extreme cases of thatch buildup, use a dethatcher, which removes thatch by lifting the surface of the lawn.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt

September/October 2014