Summer is winding down, vacations are ending, and those yellow school buses are making a comeback. Fall also brings changes to the temperatures and environment. This season makes it a great time to determine how your landscape faired over the warmer months and spruce things up as we head into the colder temperatures.
Extreme heat, lack of rain, and high humidity are all culprits that challenge lawn and landscape plantings. However, the most visibly affected area on most properties throughout the Delaware Valley is the turf. So, what can be done to bring back that lush, green, golf course-like lawn you had back in April? And how can you also take advantage of the seasonal holidays to add some interest and color back to your landscape? We’re sharing some professional tips.
Fungus was the quick spreading grass killer fueled by heat, humidity, and the over-watering suburban homeowner over the past few months. Fungus first appears as some yellowing areas which rapidly took over the lawn if not treated properly. The first inclination is to crank the irrigation up and even have it come on multiple times throughout the day. Unfortunately, more water adds to the problem making it much more difficult to correct with fungicides.
Don’t despair; in a few steps, you can bring your lawn back to its former beauty. Once this fungus (among us) is kept at bay, it’s on to the next step – Fall Lawn Renovation.
First, thatch your lawn to remove all built-up dead turf blades and debris. This can be done manually with a metal tined rake for those ready for a workout or by machine to be quick and efficient. Then, aerate your soil to remedy compaction and allow air, beneficial nutrients, and water to reach the root zone easily. Next, add a peat moss/soil mixture spread to any excessive bare spots throughout to provide the seed a stable germination medium. Lastly, apply grass seed along with a starter fertilizer for that extra boost. Ensure the new seed receives adequate water throughout its growing cycle to become a mature, hardened-off blade.
Now that your lawn is the envy of the PGA tour, some much-needed seasonal color should follow suit. Mums are the staple fall flower that, when planted in masses, can create a stunning effect, but don’t stop there. Kale, cabbage, asters, and sedum will all add that vibrancy back into your landscape once the petunias and impatiens have all lost their appeal. Some of these are even perennials which means they will re-emerge each year to brighten your landscape. I can’t stress enough that planting in masses will help you achieve that WOW factor. Quantities of three are good, five even better, and more than seven is a knockout!
Halloween and Thanksgiving are close enough to one another that outdoor décor displays can cover both. If ghouls and goblins aren’t your things, you can still be festive and arrange pumpkins, multi-colored gourds, straw bales, and corn stalks. These all evoke the feeling of the fall harvest and are an excellent addition to entryways and landscaped areas. As with flower plantings, more is better! If you typically only purchased two pumpkins in the past, this year, get 9 of various sizes and arrange them in multiple groupings throughout. Corn stalks are a great accent to any vertical elements of your home and landscape, such as light poles, doors, and tree trunks. The best aspect about these items is that they are relatively inexpensive, so you can go all out without breaking the bank.
Fall is associated with the end of the growing season, but no need to sit back and watch things wilt and die. Finish up strong in a blaze of oranges, yellows, purples, and burgundies. “Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile”- William Cullen Bryants