After a long and productive summer growing season, fall provides the promise of a bountiful harvest. It’s the time of year when we think about what we’re thankful for in the past months.
The autumn months are the perfect time for refreshing the lawn or extending the life of a garden. Since the soil is still warm, the days are cool, and precipitation is usually abundant, you could see some impressive results without much effort.
How to Plan a Fall Planting
When your lawn requires maintenance, or you want to get a fall crop planted, you’ll need to know a couple information points.
The first item on the agenda is the expected frost date. The average date for the first freezing temperatures needs to be known before you can figure out when the best time to plant a crop is in the autumn months.
It only takes temperatures at or slightly below freezing to kill a tender plant. That’s why cold-hardy veggies are helpful to plant in the fall.
Garden Schedule for Fall Planting
You can also directly sow several options, including arugula, snap beans, carrots, cilantro, collard greens, lettuce, parsnips, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.
If you’re getting started about 12 weeks before the average first frost, you can start artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale indoors. Parsley, bulb fennel, and celery can still be transplanted outside. Most of the direct sow options are still available.
At ten weeks, artichokes can still get started inside. You could transplant most other products to the fall garden if they were started indoors previously.
As you get closer to the first frost date, your options become somewhat limited. Dark leafy greens are still an option, and you can get a decent crop of radishes finished in less than a month.
If you’re near the first frost date, shallots, onions, and garlic are about the only options left to use. That all changes if you have a greenhouse or a protected area to use for your garden.
Fall Lawn Care Guide
Taking the guesswork out of knowing what your soil needs ensures that the amendments purchased can deliver the results you want.
A healthy lawn might not need to be tested, but you should always take a look at problem areas at least once per year.
Fall is the time when you want to feed your lawn. Since the summer dormancy period is gone, a cool-season grass appreciates some fertilizer about six weeks before the average first expected frost date. A high-nitrogen product can help the turf establish strong roots for the winter. []
If the grass is a bit thin, the autumn months are an excellent time for overseeding. The weather conditions are often ideal for germination and rapid growth. Using a starter fertilizer for this work might be helpful, but you don’t want to combine two different products for one application area.
When bare spots are present on the lawn, you can start the repair process. It’s also a good time to remove excess thatch, aerate compact soil, and keep watering.
Some homeowners let their lawn grow during the fall. It’s usually better to time your care activities based on blade length rather than an appointment in your calendar. If winter fungal diseases are problematic in your community, it’s often helpful to trim things a bit shorter than normal.
Use gradual decreases to keep the lawn shorter instead of lopping everything off at once the final time you mow for the year.
The Work Is Never a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Fall planting requires knowledge about your property and what to expect from the environment. Some years, you might get as much out of an autumn garden as you do from the spring seeding.
In other years, you might be lucky to produce a crop of radishes after the fall harvest.
Similar variables affect lawn care. If you stay on top of your care and maintenance schedule, the grass can look lush and green until the snow arrives.
If you need help with your lawn and landscape during the fall months, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Taking care of your property with professional services is fast, convenient, and affordable.