Your Ultimate Guide to Autumn Lawn and Garden Care
Ben Harrison, owner of Harrison Landscape Management answers questions to help with your fall gardening needs.
What steps can I take to prepare my lawn and garden for the upcoming fall season?
- Apply a granular pre-emergent to warm season (non-overseeded) lawns is a good idea this time of year to form a first line of defense against winter weeds. Avoid late season fertilizer applications as pushing growth hard into the dormant season is not beneficial for warm season grasses.
Are there any specific plants or flowers that thrive during the fall in my region?
- As far as annual color this time of year pansies are the number one choice due to cold hardiness. They will last from October into late spring. Fertilize regularly to build cold tolerance and plant them soon as possible in the fall to allow them to mature before extreme cold temperatures hit.
Can you recommend any fall-themed landscaping ideas or decorations?
- Mums combined with pumpkins are a great choice for fall color and decoration. However, mums are not cold tolerant and will not last in freezing temps. Therefore, its best to use them as a 4-6 week decoration in October and November.
How should I adjust my watering schedule as we move into the fall season?
- Typically cut watering times in half this time of year. Moisture levels are contained much better this time of year due to cooler nighttime temperatures.
What type of mulch or soil amendments should I consider for fall planting?
- When planting, any kind of potting soil or black cow topsoil is best. These are nutrient rich amendments which will help plants establish quicker and faster.
Are there any pest or disease concerns I should be aware of during the fall?
- Avoid watering late in the day to prevent disease and fungus anytime of year, especially important in the fall with cooler temps. Water does not evaporate as quickly as it does in summer heat.
Should I prune any trees or shrubs before winter, and if so, when is the best time?
- Most evergreen hardwood shrubs can be pruned anytime of year. We usually like to do a final pruning after the second or third freeze as plants are shut down at that point and will not throw new growth that can be unsightly in the winter. Avoid severe pruning this time of year because it can stress the plant as it tries to push new growth headed into dormancy.
What are some low-maintenance fall plants that can add color to my garden?
- Fall is the best time for planting any foundation type planting. As for color pansies are the main option due to a wide variety of color options and cold hardiness.
Do I need to adjust my lawn care routine, such as mowing and fertilizing, for the fall season?
- Make sure to cut with sharp blades this time of year and remember that quality is important as grass shuts down for the winter. Any scalping or damaged areas will not recover quickly this time of year as growing rates slow down.
Are there any fall-specific lawn and garden maintenance services you offer?
- Everything mentioned above.