Fall is here! The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and the leaves are changing a little every day. And since the Red Sox are done for the season, you have a little more time to keep your yard looking its best year round with some easy fall yard care tips.
Beautify with New Tress, Shrubs, and Annuals
Keep your yard looking beautiful by removing wilted summer annuals and replacing them with cool-weather varieties (make sure to fertilize the soil first). You’ll also want to stop fertilizing perennials. This will allow them to rest during winter and be healthier come spring.
Planning to add or relocate trees or shrubs? Fall is a great time to do it. Cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall will help to encourage root growth before it gets too cold. Choose native plants for best results.
Adjust Your Watering
As temperatures dip, plants and grass need less water. Reduce manual watering and make sure to keep an eye on automatic systems, adjusting them as needed.
Fall is also an excellent time to start practicing water conservation techniques. Set up a rain bucket, if you don’t already have one.
Take Care of Your Lawn
Lawns can take quite a beating in Western Massachusetts in the summer, especially if your community, like mine, had water restriction rules in place. So, managing your lawn is an important part of fall yard care.
As the weather cools, lawn growth will slow. Make sure to continue mowing your lawn (adjust the mower blade as needed) until it becomes dormant. A good rule of thumb is no lower than 2 1/2 inches in the fall and winter months.
Whether you're planting a new lawn or working on your existing lawn, it’s time to overseed with cool season turf grasses such as bluegrasses, bentgrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses. Remove thatch from your lawn. This can be done by hand or the easier way of renting an aerator or dethatcher. Doing so will encourage healthy root systems, plus aerating allows water to penetrate deeper, helping to avoid runoff.
Clean Up Debris
Of course, a big part of fall yard care is cleaning up debris, including dead plants or leaves.
First, there’s no need to remove a few straggling leaves from your lawn. Just mow right over them, and they’ll help to fertilize your lawn.
For yards with more trees, consider starting a compost pile. Compost can be used as mulch, and using it in your yard helps save on your water bills, reduces the need to fertilize (which is better for the environment), and saves you time (no bagging leaves). Simply add your yard waste to a compost pile instead of throwing it out.
Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.