For homeowners who have spent all summer outdoors, trying to keep their lawn green all summer and pruning their plants for perfect blossoms, these last few weeks of summer into early fall may see a time to kick back, relax, and rest up before it’s time to rake. But the experienced homeowner knows that this is a big mistake. Like any project, a beautiful garden and lush yard in the spring requires solid preparation beforehand...and in this case, the preparation should be happening right now. But don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit clueless - with a few tips from this guide, some forward-thinking, and a quick chat with your landscaper, you can be on your way to a yard even more beautiful next year than it was this year.
The Grass is Always Greener…
...or at least it can be next spring. If you had a luscious, green yard this year and simply want to keep it green, or if you had a yard that was tired and patchy by the end of the season, a few steps while the last of the heat lingers can put you on the right track. Here’s what you need to know:
Lower the blades
- If you raised the blades on your mower during the summer months (which you should have done), now is the time to lower them. While longer grass can help the blades withstand higher temperatures and drought, shorter grass levels help ward off disease. Plus, you’ll have an easier time raking when the leaves start to fall, as they won’t have anything to hang on to. About 2 and a half inches should do it.
- Before you know it, your lawn is going to be covered in those leaves and, eventually, snow. Before that happens, take the time to aerate your lawn. By aerating (using a machine to create small holes across your entire lawn), you’ll allow water and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass, which brings you to…
- Once the temperatures have dropped from the highs of the summer but before they’re too low for plant growth, you need to fertilize your lawn. Giving the grass the nutrients it needs will help it develop strong roots and help give you a super green lawn even earlier in the spring season.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Do you plant annuals every year and completely change the way your garden looks for the next season? Or do you stick with perennials, allowing them to return to their beautiful blossoms year after year? If perennials sound like a good idea and you have some space to fill, consider planting them now. Planting perennials in the fall may seem a little counterintuitive, but most plants require a period of more intense root development before they can blossom; planting in the fall allows for that root growth while the soil is still warm and before plants go dormant. Once spring arrives, the plants can put more energy toward growing green and producing blossoms, meaning you’ll get vibrant colors and aromatic scents earlier in the season and for longer. You can also plant shrubs during this time too, as long as you leave enough room for spring growth!
Better Than You Found It
You know that phrase you’re always telling your kids, leave a space better than you found it? Well, turns out it’s a good way to think about your outdoor living space too. When it comes to any sort of patio, porch, or deck repair, hardscaping maintenance, or upkeep of seating areas, it’s always better to close out the season with your outdoor space in tip-top shape. If that means hiring a concrete contractor to fix cracks in your paved walkway, you should make the investment; leaving cracks, for example, can allow water to get in and freeze, damaging the walkway even more and requiring extensive repair down the road. Plus, taking care of the maintenance now will mean come spring, you can get right outside and enjoy it without having the wait for repairs to be finished. You’ll save yourself time and money, and you’ll be grateful you took the time now. So what are you waiting for?