Fall is a busy time for landscape, and it's easy to lose track of the items on your end-of-season maintenance list. This checklist covers the four main areas of your yard with a detailed list of tasks you can tackle for a healthy garden that's ready for winter and will thrive in the spring.
Fall Tree and Shrub Planting & Care Checklist
⬜ Plant new shrubs and trees. The temperatures are cool, but the sun is out, which means conditions are perfect for introducing some fresh new color and texture to your landscape.
⬜ Prune dormant shrubs and trees. As long as your shrubs and trees don't already have next year's buds formed and waiting for spring, now is a great time to give them a haircut! Focus on removing anything that looks damaged or awkward and thinning out any crowded areas to promote airflow through the canopy.
⬜ Winterize shrubs and trees. Winter's harsh winds and frigid temperatures are hard on your landscape plants. Tender shrubs, like rose bushes, will benefit from a rose cone, while evergreens prone to desiccation will benefit from some anti-desiccant spray. Water all landscape plants deeply at least once per week in the leadup to the hard freeze, and apply generous layers of mulch around their trunks.
Fall Garden Bed Maintenance Checklist
⬜ Plant new perennials. Planting new perennials now gives them plenty of time to establish strong roots before their dormancy.
⬜ Divide older perennials as needed. If you notice a 'donut' effect in your old-growth perennials, they may need division. Dig up perennials and divide with a clean, sharp knife before giving away or replanting the pieces in other areas of your landscape.
⬜ Topdress garden beds. A generous application of compost will refuel your garden beds and prepare your landscape to host a plethora of healthy, blooming plants in the upcoming season.
⬜ Pull and kill weeds. Removing weeds before they seed is the most effective control method. If you use weed killer, fall is a good time to spray before new weeds have a chance to reach maturity. You can also apply pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating, but don't forget to follow up with another application in early spring.
⬜ Plant fall bulbs. Load up your beds with spring-blooming bulbs now and watch as your landscape becomes the envy of the neighborhood in spring.
⬜ Store summer bulbs. Conversely, if you grew summer bulbs this year, most of them won't be hardy enough to survive the winter here in Allentown. Wait for the leaves to die back before digging them up, allowing them to dry, and storing them indoors in a paper bag or cardboard box filled with shredded newspaper or wood shavings.
Fall Lawn Care Checklist
⬜ Treat for grubs and other lawn pests. Many of the most irritating lawn pests lurk under the soil, creating unsightly dead patches during the growing season. If grubs have been a concern for your landscape, look for a grub control treatment for fall applications.
⬜ Rake and dethatch your lawn. Removing fallen leaves and loosening lawn thatch are great for allowing water and air to circulate through your landscape.
⬜ Aerate your landscape. Perforating your soil is massively beneficial for improving the performance of your other lawn treatments.
⬜ Fertilize and overseed. Applying a fall lawn fertilizer and overseeding your lawn will strengthen your landscape turf and tee you up with a green fit for a golf course!
Fall Home & Hardscape Maintenance Checklist
⬜ Pressure wash and seal your wood hardscapes. Watching the grime disappear from your patio with a thorough pressure wash is so satisfying. Let it dry, and apply a sealer to protect your wood hardscapes through the winter.
⬜ Clear out the eavestroughs. De-gunking your eaves will keep water flowing away from your home instead of down and into your foundation.
⬜ Drain and store irrigation accessories. Whether your landscape has an automatic irrigation system or a garden-variety hose, it's important to drain any tubing and store it correctly to prevent them from freezing and bursting through the winter.
⬜ Winterize water features. If you have a water feature, don't forget to give it some TLC! Draining, cleaning, and covering your water feature will prolong its life and stave off corrective maintenance.
Missing any equipment to complete this Pennsylvania fall landscape checklist at home? Find it at Lehigh Valley Home and Garden Center in Allentown, PA!