When it comes to lawn care, fall is unquestionably the forgotten season. During this time, most of us just focus on cleaning up fallen leaves and then turn our attention to pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters.
We don’t think about preparing our yard for the winter or keeping it healthy for when spring rolls around. In other words, we don’t realize just how critical consistent lawn maintenance is during this season.
So, to make sure your lawn stays lush and beautiful all year round, read on for your ultimate guide to landscaping in September.
Landscaping experts share the consensus that the best way to make sure your lawn is healthy come springtime is to give it plenty of TLC in the fall. Many homeowners make the same mistake of neglecting lawn care in September; and in turn, cause their yard to look dull and brown once the snow melts and spring arrives.
But don’t worry– we’ve provided a few helpful tips to ensure your lawn is healthy before April showers set in.
As fun, as it is to jump in a pile of leaves, consistently raking fallen leaves and other lawn debris, is essential to preventing damage to your grass. Having a bed of colorful leaves spread over your yard blocks sunlight and traps moisture, which is a surefire way to kill your turf. Plus, old debris from plants can attract pests and diseases throughout the winter that can cause soggy, decaying grass roots.
This is why one of the most important tips for landscaping in September is raking leaves as often as you can. In addition to raking, what you should also do to your lawn in September is keep up a regular watering schedule.
Deep watering your trees and shrubs is a critical component of landscaping in September to ensure they’re well hydrated going into the harsh, frigid months that winter brings. Using a soaker hose or deep-root feeder are both great choices for providing sufficient hydration.
Just like we need regular haircuts to keep our hair from getting out of control, we also need to maintain regular cuttings for our grass. This is especially true in the fall when grasses launch into their most active growing phase. Their rapid growth is due to decreased heat stress due to the drop in temperatures.
The ideal height for grass is 2 to 3 inches. Any shorter than 2 inches can curtail the root system and slowly cut its ability to resist the icy cold temperatures of winter. Likewise, any longer than 3 inches makes it susceptible to snow mold and other winter fungi.
Landscaping in September requires fertilization to pave the way for a dewy, green lawn in the spring. Feeding your lawn in the fall provides necessary nutrients that help fight weeds and prepare your grass for the wintertime.
September and October are prime times for when to feed in the fall. This is because you want to fertilize roughly six weeks before the first frost, which usually occurs in early to mid-November.
Finding the optimum feeding time is crucial to making sure your lawn is lush for the spring. While fertilizing too early causes tender blades to spike and get pummeled by the cold, fertilizing too late doesn’t allow grass roots to absorb all of the nutrients.
If you’ve ever gardened, you likely share the popular opinion that weeds are the greatest nuisance on earth. But did you know that all of your pesky weeds are the most vulnerable in the fall? That’s right! Weeds are easiest to eliminate during September and October. So, make sure you get rid of them now so you don’t have to break your back, pulling them out come spring.
In addition to feeding your grass with nutrients, fall weed control is also a key part of landscaping in September. For most common weeds, granule applications are the most effective. To kill two birds with one stone, you can mix granules with dry fertilizer to eliminate weeds while you fertilize.
If you’re wondering what fertilizer to use in the fall for your toughest weeds, a liquid herbicide is a way to go. An herbicide liquid formulation is applied across the leaf surface of a weed and doesn’t require extra moisture to stick to the leaf. This means that it can effectively kill the weed at its root.
Now that you know how to keep your grass strong for the winter, let’s go over how to make sure your garden is ready for the upcoming below-0 temps.
At the end of the summer, your plants are in the throes of their last hurrah and begin to show signs of natural wear and tear. So, here are a few tips for landscaping in September that’ll help your garden seamlessly transition into sweater weather.
A compost bin is essential for recycling valuable nutrients from your soil. It can act as a terrific, organic fertilizer for garden beds in the springtime. Thus, you should keep your compost alive during the winter months by turning it once a week. This will give you nutrient-dense soil that you can use for gardening when spring comes around.
One of the best things to do in the garden in September is deadhead perennials to keep them in bloom until the first frost. Not only should you trim back your perennials, but you should also throw away dead and diseased foliage to minimize the chance of infection once it begins to get warm again.
The cool weather and warm, moist soil that comes with the fall season make ideal conditions for planting. This is why spring planting is such an important facet of landscaping in September. Lilies, peonies, and bulbs are perfect planting candidates to ensure you have a healthy, colorful garden in the spring.
Lilies require minimal upkeep and produce eye-catching bushes of multicolored flowers. The best time to plant these perennial bulbs is from mid-September to mid-October.
Peonies are conveniently grown in a variety of conditions and only need partial to full sunlight. A good gardening tip for September is to plant peonies in the first few days of fall to allow their roots ample growing time before freezing occurs.
For all you spring-blooming bulb fans, landscaping in September just wouldn’t be complete without adding these flowering bulbs to your gardening list. While blooming bulbs are a classic symbol of spring, fall is the ideal time to plant them. Hardy bulbs are cold-resistant and have no problem spending the winter in hibernation.
Once you’ve set up your garden for the spring, you can enjoy gardening in September by creating a beautiful autumn spread. Here are a few plants that portray the epitome of autumn, the September landscape.
Ornamental peppers come in festive shades of orange, red, yellow, and purple to match the colorful leaves of autumn. Although these peppers are mostly grown for aesthetic pleasure, you can also use them to add spice to your Thanksgiving cooking!
Like ornamental peppers, crotons also come in shades of orange, red, yellow, and purple. They’re ideal for autumn as they thrive as an outdoor shrub through late fall and easily transition to a houseplant when temperatures become frigid.
Celosia is known for its warm orange and deep burgundy-purple accents. This plant is very durable and easy to care for, making it a perfect addition to your September garden.
Preparing your lawn for the winter and ensuring it’s still beautiful, come spring, are key components to maintaining a strong, lush landscape. But, we know that putting in the work can be tough during this time when kids go back to school and the holiday season approaches.
The good news is that you don’t have to work on your lawn alone. Reach out to one of our landscaping professionals to make sure your yard is well-prepared for winter and stays gorgeous this fall!
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