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Fall Landscaping

Autumn Yard Work in Preparation for Winter

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Picture of a leaf pile.

Raking leaves is the most commonly performed task of fall landscaping, but there's much more to be done!

David Beaulieu

Fall landscaping, for all the work it entails, is something of a celebration. It is a rite of the harvest and a wonderful time to be active in the yard. Make a conscious effort to enjoy the autumn yard to the fullest! But also remember that there's much work to be done, tasks that will prepare your yard for winter -- and for the spring that's sure to follow.

Fall Landscaping: 7 Common Tasks

  1. Overseed Your Lawn
  2. Start a New Lawn
  3. Rake Up Those Leaves!
  4. Put Your Garden to Bed
  5. Don't Let Weeds off the Hook!
  6. Plant a Tree
  7. The Calendar Says Autumn, but the Bulbs Say Spring!

You'll want to overseed your lawn if you feel it hasn't grown in thick enough. A related task of fall landscaping is starting a new lawn altogether -- whether because you're moving in to a property that has no lawn or because you've decided your current lawn is a hopeless case (so you might as well start over). Consult the following resource for other tasks pertaining specifically to lawns in autumn:

Autumn Lawn Care

Many of us have been raking leaves in autumn since we were kids. But how soon should you rake up leaves? And have you ever wondered why we rake leaves at all?

Your garden has been working hard for you for months now. After the harvest, it's time to put it to bed: Give your garden what it needs to enjoy a refreshing winter's rest and come back strong in spring. My tips on preparing the garden in autumn will get you started. Pay particular attention to weed control; if you make weed identification and eradication part of your fall landscaping efforts, you'll be saving yourself lots of time in spring.

If your primary interest in the past has been in growing flowers and vegetables, you might not think of autumn as a time for planting. But planting trees and shrubs is part of fall landscaping. And don't forget to mark your calendar in autumn for planting spring bulbs: We call them "spring" bulbs because they bloom in spring, but if you don't remember to plant them in autumn, you'll miss out on all the beauty they bring to spring!

If you didn't find the fall landscaping issue you were looking for above, never fear. I have much more advice about the autumn yard for you in my FAQ on fall gardens, including:

The resources above on fall landscaping deal with preparing your yard for winter. If you are searching for information on "fall landscaping" in the sense of selecting plants for autumn foliage and/or decorating for Halloween, consult my Halloween Landscape Design.

Your attitude toward fall landscaping says a lot about how much of a plant enthusiast you really are. Even lukewarm plant lovers get excited about the spring yard, that wonderful blank slate that greets us after a long winter. But in many cases, their excitement fizzles out by the time autumn comes around. If they do any fall landscaping at all, they do it very reluctantly: They're tired of yard work after a summer's worth of it; ironically, they now look forward to the rest that winter brings! Of course, you are not like that, else you wouldn't be reading this article on fall landscaping. So roll up your sleeves and get to work.

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