Transitioning to Autumn: Landscape Transition Guide

As the anticipation of autumn looms on the horizon, the prospect of welcoming cool, refreshing days is undoubtedly an inviting thought shared by many. Your outdoor landscape, too, likely yearns for relief from the scorching summer heat and the persistent intrusion of pests, as well as the parched and thirsty soil that characterized these past months. Nevertheless, the autumn season brings its own unique set of challenges. As the summer chapter draws to a close, take a moment to engage in some end-of-season maintenance, preparing for the imminent arrival of fall’s distinctive climate conditions.

Embark on a Journey Through Your GardenInitiate your efforts with a focus on damage control. Evaluate the casualties incurred during the summer months within your garden, paying attention to plants that struggled with excess moisture or those that sought refuge from the sun. Remove any lifeless remnants, and cleanse the soil from recently vacated garden pots, as deceased roots can attract fungal growth.

Inspect your surviving plants for signs of desiccated and deceased growth, employing pruning as necessary. Opt for garden shears in this endeavor to avoid harming thriving foliage in the process. Additionally, gather and preserve any ripe fruits, vegetables, or herbs from your edible garden. Given your dedication throughout the summer, safeguard the fruits of your labor from going to waste. (After all, if you don’t enjoy them, some industrious ants likely will.)

Should you intend to fill any gaps within your garden using autumnal foliage, such as pansies and goldenrod, opt for young plants—seeds are unlikely to bloom in time for the Thanksgiving festivities. This juncture is also opportune for introducing new trees and shrubs, allowing their roots ample time to mature within the soil before the onset of winter frost. Once content with your additions, envelop these newcomers in your yard and garden with a layer of mulch, aiding in the insulation of fledgling roots.

Enhance Your Outdoor Spaces to PerfectionSeize the favorable weather to address any outdoor repairs that beckon. Postponing these tasks until the onset of harsher autumn conditions may exacerbate existing damage, and you might find yourself less inclined to venture outdoors for necessary rectifications.

Begin by sealing cracks in surfaces like brick, concrete, and stone, followed by a fresh coat of paint to camouflage these mends. Take advantage of the drier end-of-summer weather to touch up wall and railing paint. (The cool and damp air of fall could hinder proper paint drying.) In the case of more extensive damage, such as dislodged concrete or fractured pavers, it’s prudent to enlist the expertise of a specialist for timely improvements.

Of particular importance is the prompt attention to any deterioration evident on your wooden deck before the full embrace of fall. The moister, milder, and shorter days characteristic of this season create an ideal environment for fungi with a penchant for wood. Given the intricacies of deck maintenance, it’s advisable to limit DIY efforts to simpler tasks like cleansing, rinsing, and renewing the sealant. Leave intricate undertakings—such as replacing decayed planks or securing loose joints—to the expertise of professional repair services.

Last but not least, tend to your outdoor decor. Invest in durable furniture covers capable of withstanding rain and weathering, and transfer delicate items like cushions to storage when not in use.

Navigate the Contents of Your ShedAllocate time to organize your shed, stowing away summer embellishments and tidying up surplus tools. For efficient storage, contemplate the installation of racks, wall mounts, and shelves—these investments will pay dividends in the future. Position rakes and wheelbarrows at the forefront to ensure readiness for the forthcoming leaf-drop season. In preparation for colder temperatures, gather supplies for winterization, including plant-insulating wraps.

Extend a Caring Hand to Your LawnWhile summer might be synonymous with weed proliferation, this issue may persist even as the fall equinox approaches. Uproot all weeds from your lawn, ensuring their complete eradication; resilient weeds possess a remarkable ability to rebound if even a fragment of root remains.

The initial frost could materialize anywhere from September to December, contingent upon your geographic location. (The Farmer’s Almanac offers a useful guide to anticipated frost dates for various regions.) In anticipation of this pivotal climatic shift, aerate your lawn to alleviate compacted soil and apply a thin layer of fertilizer. Contemplating the seeding of grass for a lusher, healthier lawn is also a valid option, although consulting a horticulturist may be prudent due to the intricacies and regional considerations involved.

Keep your lawnmower accessible as well. Grass maintains its growth momentum until the inaugural frost, necessitating regular mowing prior to that juncture. Adjust the blade height to 4 inches to promote the health and aesthetic of your lawn throughout August and September. Should leaves begin to accumulate prematurely on your lawn, feel free to mow over them for the time being. However, when dense layers of leaves accumulate later in the fall, raking should precede mowing.

Furthermore, maintain vigilance over your watering schedule. Even as cooler weather emerges, adhere to the low-light periods of dawn and dusk. Direct sunlight can swiftly evaporate moisture, resulting in unnecessary water wastage and associated costs.

By tackling these tasks proactively, you can savor the charms of a cozier autumn with minimal exertion, diminished stress, and a front-row seat to the captivating transformation of the season right beyond your window.

source: adapted from american lifestyle magazine