Information provided by Eric Engledow of Engledow Group
Fall will arrive soon in central Indiana. The temperatures will begin to fall, the leaves change colors, and pumpkins and mums will adorn front porches. This is the time of year when people start to get their homes, both inside and outside, ready for the cold winter months. Before putting up all of your landscaping equipment for the season, take a few steps to prepare for the cold weather right around the corner. By following a few fall landscaping tips, you can jump-start your landscape for next spring.
Aerate Your Lawn: Your lawn has been used all summer long by animals, children and your lawnmower. Over the course of the summer, the soil can become compacted. This compaction makes it more difficult for water and nutrients to be absorbed into your lawn. Aeration provides a chance for your lawn to “breathe.” This will help your lawn come back strong and vibrant in the spring.
Rake Your Leaves: Not only is a lawn full of dropped leaves an eyesore, but they can actually damage your lawn. If a thin layer of leaves is left on the grass when the winter snows start, this layer can suffocate your lawn, leading to dead spots come spring time. There are many great uses for those leaves, from winter insulation for plant roots to additions to your compost pile.
Fertilize: While the weather is still relatively warm, don’t forget to give your lawn one last application of fertilizer. The cooler temperatures are the perfect time to fertilize your lawn and help it recover from the long, hot months of summer. By giving your lawn an application of fertilizer in the fall, you will give it a head start for the warm weather of next spring.
Plant Spring Bulbs: Planting bulbs, like tulips and daffodils, in the fall is a great way to get a head start on your landscape for next year. Make sure to plant them late enough in the season that they won’t sprout this year, but not so late that they don’t get a chance to get established before the cold weather. Late October into mid-November is the perfect time in central Indiana.
Mow Your Lawn, One Last Time: Cutting the grass one last time before cold weather sets in is beneficial for a number of reasons. One, it helps to shred any loose leaves that might still be on your lawn. By mulching them with your lawn mower, then reintroducing them to the grass, you will give your lawn a boost of nitrogen to help it through the cold, winter months. Second, if you cut the grass short, you will help to fend off disease next year. Diseases tend to take hold when the grass is left longer. A short cut before winter will help prevent disease from taking root before the cold weather sets in.
Tune Up Your Equipment: Before putting up your landscape equipment for the year, give it a quick tune-up. Sharpen blades, clean off debris and oil any moving parts to ensure they are ready to go in the spring. Also, make sure to winterize your lawn mower to prevent issues in the spring.