The morning air is getting noticeably crisper, cooler. The days are getting a bit shorter. Temperatures are starting to drop from the 80s and 90s to the 60s and 70s—in some years, the 40s and 50s. Summertime is taking its final bow and fall is approaching. It’s time to wave goodbye to your flourishing summerscape and prepare your plants, gardens, and lawn for the next season.
It sounds like a daunting task, but with these tips and tricks, you can get your yard prepped and ready for the colder months with just a little elbow grease.
Flowers, shrubs, and bushes are beautiful when blooming throughout the summer months, but as the weather shifts, but sure to deadhead, trim, and clean up your plants. New flowers and buds won’t survive much longer, and when they die, your yard will become a mess of old annuals, leaving debris throughout. Remove annuals so they aren’t left to rot and prune your perennials so they’ll be in good shape come spring.
If you’re going to prune your perennials, wait until the fall temps get a little bit cooler. Pruning too early when weather is still warm can leave your plants open to getting infections, diseases, insects, or decay.
Take care of your patio
While the weather is warm, it’s a good idea to wash and clean your patio and provide protection for the rougher months ahead. Using a mild, plant-safe soap, you can wash your patio before applying a sealant. Although it’s more time consuming, hand washing with soap and water will protect your patio compared to power washing, which can damage the exterior and pull up sand.
Once your patio is clean, you can apply a water-based, acrylic, or hybrid mix sealer to the top, protecting the materials from storms, cold weather, and harsh conditions. This will keep your patio looking fresh while also preventing erosion and deter weeds from being able to break through and sprout new growth.
To ensure your lawn comes back looking healthy and fresh next year, fertilize it during the fall. This helps give grass the ability to prepare itself for the winter and support root growth which will lead to a greener, more vibrant yard once winter is over. Fall is also one of the best times to fertilize because morning dew provides a layer of moisture that helps grass absorb nutrients.
Bring indoor plants back inside
Summer is a great time to bring your indoors plants that love light and sun outdoors to soak up warmth and nutrients. However, as summer ends, don’t forget to bring your plants back indoors where they’ll be comfortable and able to survive. The plummeting temperature fall can bring can shock your plants, causing them to get sick or even die.
Raking your leaves throughout the fall is one of the best ways to keep your grass healthy and strong for the next season. When leaves sit on top of your lawn, they rot and decay, suffocating your grass. To ensure you don’t bring in the next spring with brown, dying grass, continue to rake your leaves until winter comes.
Instead of throwing out your leaves, you can use them as a replacement for mulch to keep your garden nutrient filled and moist.
Between summer and fall is a great time to kick weeds to the curb. Use herbicides, pull all pesky weeds out by the root, and make sure you read the ingredients of the weed killers you use. Some can be dangerous to pets and children.
Taking action against weeds during this time allows them to drink up the chemicals that kill them along with the moisture that occurs in the mornings and evenings, making fall prime time to get rid of weeds so they won’t come back in spring.
Your lawn isn’t the only thing winter can wreak havoc on when not cared for properly. Lawn mowers, hoses, and gutters all need some TLC before temps drop. Make sure you drain your hose completely before storing it. If temperatures get too far below freezing, the water can freeze and split the hose open. Clean out your gutter spouts so melting ice has an exit and debris, like old leaves and weeds, can’t get stuck. Lawn mowers should be tuned up, cleaned, and placed indoors or in a shed that can protect them from harsh elements, and if you have a battery-powered mower, make sure to change the battery fully before storing or take it out completely. Not doing so can lead to permanent damage caused by the cold weather.
Remember, the more you take care of now, the easier everything will be to get started again in spring. You work hard to keep your yard looking lovely all summer, now, make sure it grows back that way next spring.