Fall…what a great time of the year. Lower humidity and crisp air. Football. Pumpkin Spice Everything.

You might be thinking that you can finally take a break from all that summer lawn and garden upkeep. While the winter yardwork season is slower, autumn is a very important time of the year to prep your yard, and make sure it is ready for spring growth.

Follow our fall yard cleanup checklist to learn what you should be doing this time of the year. 6 Easy Fall Yardwork Tasks to Knock-Out Before Winter

1. Remove Debris and Leaves

As your trees start losing their leaves, you’ll want to rake regularly to remove dead leaves and other debris from your lawn and garden beds. Besides offering a hiding place for critters to your yard, excessive debris can also smother the grass and prevent growth.

Here are some tips on cleaning up the leaves in your yard:

  • Rake all your leaves onto a tarp for easier hauling to the curb or compost pile.
  • Leaf blowers can make the job quicker and get a lot of the leaves moving in the right direction for you. However, sometimes you want a bit more precision to get them in the final piles/tarp, or the piles are getting a bit too large – that’s where the good old fashioned rake comes in handy.
  • Once you have already removed most of the leaves, some more will eventually land into your yard this fall season. You can run your lawn mower over these last fallen leaves to shred them into tiny flakes. They will settle into the autumn grass and decompose into a natural fertilizer.

2. Trim dead limbs / cut back perennials

Now is the time to look for those lifeless branches on your trees.

You can protect small ornamental trees from further damage by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to (but not flush with) the trunk; leave the wounds exposed to heal. For very big jobs, make sure you call a pro.

If you see any spent annuals, it’s time to remove those. Trim down the perennial foliage to the ground – this will really help the root system for next season. You should also divide those spreading plants that are starting to crowd, like daylilies and irises. The more space your plants have, the more they will flourish.

3. Feed your grass

We all love the pride of a green, lush lawn. This requires more than just water and sunshine. Autumn is the perfect time to feed your grass and strengthen the root system. You can look for one of the many “fall fertilizer” options available at your local garden center, or find a high-phosphorus (12-25-12) mix to apply.

“Fall is the best time to fertilize as it helps your lawn develop a stronger root system over the winter months for a thicker, more vigorous lawn the following spring.”

Jessica, Brand Ambassador | Scotts

4. Don’t Stop Mowing Just Yet

Fall is here, but that doesn’t mean you stop mowing. Depending on the part of the country you are in, you may have to continue mowing well into the fall season.

Once the grass growth is looking like it is ready to be done, make your final cut of the season at a lower height setting. Disease has a harder time with shorter grass, and your lawn will be prepped for the spring growth season.

However, make sure you only cut your grass if it is still growing. Once the temperatures consistently drop and you don’t see any new growth – go ahead and put that mower away for the winter.

5. Plant new shrubs

Did you recently remove a dead tree? Have you been eyeing a spot in your landscaping that could use a new plant? Now is your time to shine.

Planting shrubs in early fall gives the plants a head start at establishing roots in the season's cool, moist soil.

Planting Tips: Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball. Position the shrub so that the top of the root ball remains at, not below, ground level. Fill in with soil, water to settle soil, and add more soil to top of root ball.

Top it off with mulch, which leads us to….

6. Mulch Around Plants and Trees

Mulching around plants during your fall yardwork has several benefits, from preventing soil erosion to suppressing weeds. Till decomposed layers of organic mulch into the soil, then apply a fresh 2- to 4-inch layer (more will smother roots) to keep new plantings warm and to control water runoff and soil erosion

Bonus Tip

Be sure to head to www.kujo.com to check out our fall collection of outdoor footwear and pants!