Even though we’ve experienced a streak of warmer weather, the fall season is upon us! While you may be thinking about a bonfire with friends or visiting a pumpkin patch with the kids, you should also think about how the coming weather changes will affect your landscape.

Each season requires special attention for our lawn and gardens to keep them healthy, thriving, and enjoyable year-round. As we embark on the fall season, here are some tips to get your lawn and garden ready for the colder months ahead.

  • Clear the way for fall. As you trade your shorts and t-shirts for jeans and sweaters, it’s also a good time to clear out your garden. An essential of fall lawn and garden prep includes clearing away debris (i.e. twigs, branches, leaves) as well as dead plants. While you’re in the process of prepping your garden for colder weather, remember that you can add dead vegetable plants and annuals to your compost pile. 
  • Tidy up your outdoor area. While removing any dead plants and debris, look around at your outdoor area for items that should be stored away for fall and winter. Take the time to clean your patio furniture, lawn care equipment, and other seasonal items. Once cleaned, store them away to protect them from elements.
  • Consider composting. Fall is the perfect time to add to - or start - composting.  Your beds will benefit from two to three inches of compost, especially if you are not currently using mulch. Composting is not only beneficial for the environment, but it is an excellent way to set your garden up for success in fighting diseases and retaining moisture year-round.
  • Protect your trees before colder weather arrives. Fall brings stunning colors and pumpkins, followed by the frost and freezing temperatures. In the Midwest, fall also brings gusty winds and cold rains which can be problematic for new trees you may have planted during the summer. To keep your saplings safe in the colder months, consider staking your young trees. To protect your trees from rodent damage, look into breathable vinyl or fabric tree wrap.
  • Fall planting. Yes, you can plant in the fall; it will provide a stunning array of flowers come springtime. Explore different kinds of flower bulbs including daffodils, tulips, or crocus. Optimal planting times are mid-October to early November, but make sure you plant before the first hard freeze and protect your plantings with mulch. If you want instant beauty and color, consider planting some fall mums. 
  • Prune your perennials. Chances are your perennials have overcrowded, so fall is the perfect opportunity to divide and prune them. Once the perennials are divided, transplant them to areas in your garden where mulch can protect them during the harsh, winter weather. 
  • Feed your soil. Contrary to popular belief, spring isn’t the only time to nurture your soil. This fall, consider adding manure, compost, bone meal, kelp, rock phosphate, and other nutrients to your soil. Tiling or turning your soil can also improve drainage before the inevitable chill of winter. 

A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design provides professional outdoor landscape design and lawn maintenance services. We offer a number of different maintenance options to keep our customers’ lawns and beds healthy and looking great throughout the year. From basic lawn mowing and line trimming, up to full-service landscape maintenance plans, we have the expertise to accomplish your goals. 

Explore landscaping ideas and services on our website or call us at 847-224-2167 (IL) / 262-287-7600 (WI) with questions or to set up a consultation.