Saying goodbye to summer is never fun — for you or your yard. In most areas, as the weather gets cooler, your lush green landscape starts to fade and those beautiful blooming flowers are no more.
But not all hope is lost! Here are five things you can do now to help extend the life of your yard and get it ready for the next season.
Weed, Deadhead and Clean Up
You don’t want to leave plant debris in your yard that can become host to diseases and pests in the cooler months. Remove any past-their-prime veggies and do away with those spent annuals now.
This is also the time to cut back any perennial plantings and deadhead flowering plants. Staying on top of deadheading allows for healthy new growth and continued improvement in future seasons.
Replace Summer Annuals
Those marigolds and zinnias aren’t doing your yard any favors once they’re dead. Remove any spent summer flowers from your planters and gardens and replace them with fall-friendly annuals like pansies or flowering kale.
Your local gardening center will be able to advise you specifically on which cool-weather flowers are best suited for your particular climate. You can also hire a professional landscaper to help you select and plant annuals for fall.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
Trimming your trees and shrubs is important to help your plants grow better and stay healthier in the long run. Although spring through early summer tends to be the best time for any major shrub trimming and winter is often the best time for major tree trimming, you’ll still want to prune back your trees and shrubs one final time before the end of this growing season.
Make sure to use caution with sharp cutting tools, and never trim trees while you’re on a ladder. Leave any large branches to a professional tree trimmer; these are very heavy and can be unpredictable if cut incorrectly.
Fertilize the Lawn
Don’t forget about the grass just because you’re not mowing it every weekend! Fertilizing the lawn before it goes dormant can make all the difference in growth next summer. For the best results, you should fertilize your lawn a couple times a year in smaller doses. This prevents over fertilizing and keeps your lawn’s nutrient levels at their best year-round.
Seed the Lawn
In most climates, late-summer to early fall is the best time to reseed your lawn. Seeds germinate readily, and grass has a chance to develop strong roots before the first frost hits.
You’ll want to test the acidity or alkalinity of your soil before you seed to ensure it’s conducive to growth. You want a pH reading of 6.0 to 7.5; if your soil is below 6.0, you should add lime in, and if it’s above 7.5, you should add sulfur. You may also need to add sand or compost. For best results, consult with a lawn seeding service professional.