Autumn is a lovely time of year to enjoy activities outside as a family, and kids don’t have to look far to find fun things to do as the hot summer days disperse and the leaves change colour and fall.
However, if you want to really utilise your backyard as much as possible, it’s important to take care of your outdoor areas so that they’re in the best condition for picnics, tea parties, games, and other activities.
Read on for some jobs you should be doing around your home this autumn to keep your lawn and gardens in tip-top shape.
Take Care of Your Lawn
Autumn is a great time to really concentrate on the health and maintenance of your lawn. You might like to complete some necessary tasks such as watering, mowing, aerating, weeding, and fertilising the grass yourself, or you can use professional services like TruGreen.
In autumn you should always continue to mow your lawn, even though you generally won’t need to shave so much off the grass during the cooler months of the year. Make sure you don’t ever cut more than a third of the grass at one time, but do keep cutting it back on a regular basis as this helps the grass to stay healthy. Weeds can also rear their ugly heads in autumn. It’s important to get rid of weeds as soon as you notice them before they get the chance to spread and cause more problems. There are several ways to remove them, such as using a weed killer or pulling them out by hand. Make sure you wear gloves when doing this, and always follow the instructions on the weed killers carefully. Watering should be kept up during autumn too, although again, you probably won’t need to spend as much time on it as in summer.
Fertilisation is a perfect task to complete during the autumn months if you’d like a thriving lawn. In fact, this time of the year is seen by many experts in the field as the best time to complete the task. While the top layer of grass that you see grows more slowly when the weather is cooler, the roots and rhizomes below the surface of the soil continue to grow quickly and can really take advantage of the fertiliser.
Choose a good fertiliser for your lawn and it will deliver all the essential nutrients grass loves, and allow the lawn to grow deep roots and build up a reserve of nutrients that it can hold on to for the spring. To achieve the best coverage of your lawn with fertiliser, it pays to use a walk-behind drop spreader, as this makes it easy to apply a consistent, even layer.
The autumn months also provide a great opportunity to do some lawn aeration. This helps the grass because it allows fertilisers, water, and oxygen to more easily reach the roots and boost growth. If you’re not comfortable doing the lawn aerating yourself, you can hire a specialist firm to come in and do the job for you. Alternatively, look at renting a walk-behind lawn aerator for a day or two and use this to punch small holes into the soil. Lawn aerators also extract plugs of dirt out, to allow nutrients to reach further down.
Another essential job for autumn is raking leaves. Although this can be a time-consuming task because of all the leaves falling on the lawn from above at this time of year, it is very important to remove as much debris as you can, as quickly as you can. Otherwise, you will find that the leaves tend to stick together (rain and other moisture makes them wet and sticky), and they will form a mat over the lawn.
This can, in turn, lead to the grass suffocating a bit, and also encourages fungal diseases that have a negative effect. You can either rake leaves up by hand or use a lawnmower with a vacuum-type system which is designed to collect leaves.
Clean Up the Garden
In autumn you should also take the time to clean up your garden in preparation for spring. For starters, make sure you add some mulch. Mulch is fantastic for plants as it helps the soil around them to hold in moisture, which means you don’t have to spend so much time watering or worry about so many weeds popping up. Some other benefits of mulch in the garden are that it adds nutrients as it breaks down into the soil, and it also covers plants during the cold months and helps to stop them from freezing.
During autumn you can also look at transplanting any trees or shrubs which have outgrown their locations in your yard, or that you want to move for any other reason. Cooler times of year are best for relocations. Autumn is also the perfect time to divide up any bulbs in your garden. Planting bulbs at this time of year allows them to grow a bit before spring when they tend to really flourish — just make sure that you put them in a location that receives plenty of sunlight.