- GIVE THE LAWN ONE LAST CUT.
Continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing — yes, even if it’s cold. The general rule of thumb? Keep grass around three inches tall — all year — so there is enough surface area for the sun to hit.
- TEST THEIR SOIL.
This is good time to apply grass seed, but there’s a crucial first step: The soil should be tested to determine pH and nutrient availability. Sending a soil sample to a professional for testing will cost about $15 — and it’s well worth it. Soil plays such an important role in any landscape yet it often gets overlooked.”
- RESEED THE LAWN.
Once the soil is tested — and any deficiencies are corrected — it’s time to aerate and seed the parts that are stressed from the summer’s sun or trampled from foot traffic. It depends on the condition of the lawn, but you typically need about three pounds for every 1,000 square feet of lawn
- FLUFF UP THE MULCH.
Officially, it’s called turning the mulch. Fluffing it up gives flowerbeds a fresh look and cuts down on (or even eliminates) the need for more, fresh mulch. If you end up adding new stuff, keep the pile around two to three inches thick. More than that, and the mulch becomes a hiding place for insects and plant diseases, and water could have a harder time being absorbed.
- MAKE THEIR OWN MULCH.
If you find that, after you turn the mulch, you still need more, try making your own. There’s no shortage of fallen leaves this time of year. This is an excellent source of organic matter that your plants will love you for.
- DO SOME PLANNING AND PLANTING.
Fall is a great time to plant. See what plants need to be divided or re-spaced and what areas of the landscape need to be filled in to make next year look even better.
- GIVE YOUR DRIVEWAY AND WALKWAYS SOME TLC.
Your lawn’s overall look includes your driveway and walkways. The fall is an important time to fill cracks in asphalt or concrete, and apply a sealant to help prevent water penetration damage from freezing and thawing. Any time water gets into cracks and freezes, you are at risk for even more damage.
- WATER THE EVERGREENS.
Make sure all evergreens are sufficiently watered in September, October and November to reduce the possibility of dehydration in the winter. How much water do you need? That depends on the recent weather. If it’s starting to be a rainy fall, no water is necessary. If it’s less than four inches for the month, you’ll need one or two thorough hour-long watering once a week for up to three weeks.
- DO SOME PRUNING.
Trees and shrubs typically need a heavy pruning by the end of summer. Some may need it to help prevent damage and some just for looks or to control size for next spring.
- Clean and maintain your tools
When your chores are done, clean well all of your tools, sprinklers and, especially, hoses. And don’t forget to have all irrigation lines blown out so lines, heads and valves don’t crack.