Tips to Prepare Your Lawn and Garden for Fall

As summer comes to an end, the fall to-do list picks up to prepare for the next season. This often involves many outside home maintenance tasks as cool Wisconsin weather approaches. Taking care of your lawn and garden in the fall can make a difference in healthy grass and plants when spring comes back around.  

Fall Lawn care tips:  

1. Apply fall fertilizer  

Fertilizing in early fall helps your lawn begin rebuilding grassroots that were damaged during the hot, dry summer. It’s also a great time to kill weeds and nourish the soil before winter to store energy for spring. Look for the proper fertilizing fall application at your local hardware or home improvement store.  

2. Rake fallen leaves 

Big, leafy trees are a welcomed source of shade in the summer but come fall in Wisconsin they can be a lot of work as they lose their leaves. As tree leaves fall, don’t leave them to smother your grass. Leaves can block sunlight resulting in thinning your grass or lead to disease. Rake or mulch your leaves to keep your grass healthy. If many leaves are present, raking and composting them is recommended. For smaller jobs, consider mulching the leaves with your lawnmower and returning the organic matter to the soil.  

3. Seed bare patches  

If you notice dead or bare spots in your yard after all the summer fun, fall is a great time to reseed. The ground has ideal conditions during this season – it is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day. However, it’s still important to follow proper seeding directions. The seed needs to be in full contact with the soil, watered daily until it germinates, and be well enough established before it gets too cold.   

Fall Garden care tips:  

1. Tend to perennials  

The end of the summer season is the time to remove and clean up spent plants, debris and weeds. This is also the ideal time to tend to perennials. There are a variety of perennials to cut back in the fall, just a few inches from the ground. This is also the best time to divide or move perennials and plant perennial seeds for next spring. 

2. Plant bulbs  

Fall is the time to plant your Tulips, Daffodils and other fall bulbs to take in their beauty come spring. Consider what planting zone you are in when the best time is to plant bulbs. Wisconsin has 3 hardiness zones, zone 3, zone 4 and zone 5, referring to freezing zones and plant’s ability to survive winter.  

3. Plant new trees and shrubs 

Fall is the best time of the year to plant new trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs planted now have months to develop a healthy root system before the heat of next year. Check on moisture levels often and water when needed as the drying winds of the cooler weather can quickly dehydrate plants. 

Any time of the year is always a good time to review your home insurance with your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent to ensure you are properly protected.