Milton Real Estate - Katherine Barnett, Broker

Fall Landscape Checklist

  • Katherine Barnett
  • 16 October 2015

The cool, crisp weather and scenic changing color of the leaves can only mean one thing…Fall is here! Fall gives homeowners the perfect opportunity for landscaping and outdoor projects ranging from lawn care and planting to decks, patios and water features. Fall is the ideal time to prepare your yard for the next growing season because of its moderate temperatures and ample rainfall. Cooler temperatures slow above-ground growth and damper soil encourages strong root development. Clearing away weak stems, dead branches, and heavy leaf cover preserves a plant’s long-term and overall health. Check out this fall landscaping checklist and learn what you need to do to get your yard Fall-ready this season.


1. Feed your grass: Provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs to battle the winter months.

2. Lower the height on your lawn mower: Grass grows more slowly in fall, but it still needs to be cut to prep for winter, so cut your grass down to 1¼”.

3. Rake and collect fallen leaves: Left neglected, fallen tree leaves may suffocate your lawn, so for easy transport rake them onto a plastic tarp.

4. Aerate your lawn: If rainfall begins to pool on the grass, it’s time to aerate compressed soil so water and nutrients can reach the roots.

5. Amend your soil: Get the earth ready for next year’s beds and your fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding compost.

6. Trim dead limbs: Protect your trees from further damage by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to the trunk.

7. Dig up annuals: Once your summer annuals are dead and depleted you can dig them up and use them to nourish the compost pile.

8. Clean up your garden: Remove weeds and debris from your garden so pests won’t make it their winter home.

9. Add mulch for young plants: Give new beds a layer of mulch before the ground freezes. Mulch options are chopped leaves, pine straw, or wood chips.

10. Divide and cut back perennials: Trim lifeless perennial foliage down to the ground, which will send energy to the roots for the next season.

11. Plant Fall annuals like pansies or mums: Once your summer blooms have faded, it's time to add color to your garden with Fall annuals.

12. Plant shrubs and evergreens: Early fall planting will give new plants a sufficient amount of time to get their roots established before winter.

13. Plant your favorite bulbs now for Spring: Fall is the perfect time to plan for your Spring garden. Until the soil freezes, you can plant bulbs.

14. Dry out your drip systems: Empty out hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems because standing water can freeze and crack drip-irrigation tubing.

15. Protect cold-sensitive plants: Place frost barriers on any plants that might be damaged by the cold. Protect them with mulch or another defensive barrier.