Fall Landscape Maintenance

Fall Landscape Maintenance


            The days are still warm, lawns are green, but if you look closely the signs of fall are beginning to show. Even with all the rain we are enjoying grass is not growing quite as fast and while still green it doesn’t have that summer shine. The leaves on some trees are beginning to show signs of change. I noticed some yellow poplar leaves falling in the last few days. Like it or not fall is starting to creep in.

            Let’s look at some fall maintenance projects that will need to be done. Not all right away and probably most of us won’t need to do all of them. There are four categories that need our attention.


            All of our tools should be cleaned well before storing for winter. Wash them and spray with WD-40 and they will last for years.

            Gas powered tools such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers and others should be run until empty. Never store tools with gas in them for winter.

            In cooler climates, such as Central Virginia, all permanent water systems should be drained. Fishponds with running water should be safe without draining.

            Garden hoses, outdoor furniture, and all tools should be safely stored for the winter.


            Start now planting cool-season annuals. Pansies should be planted in early September in order to grow out and look nice all winter. The same is true for cool season vegetables. The sooner they are planted the bigger and better your harvest will be.

            Be sure to harvest summer vegetables before that first frost.

            Perennials should be cut back to 6 inches above the soil. Overcrowded perennials should be divided and replanted.

            Nonhardy bulbs should be dug and stored for the winter.

            Spring flowering bulbs should be planted in late fall.


            Rake leaves as needed. It’s much easier to rake a few leaves each week than it is to rake a yard covered in 6 inches of leaves all at one time. Overseed bare spots in early fall. The earlier this is done the better chance you have of getting a good stand of grass.

            Apply an application of fall fertilizer or better yet 3 applications of fall fertilizer applied about 6 weeks apart. Your grass roots grow during cool weather, and they need nutrients. Click here for more info on lawn care and maintenance!


            Early on rake and compost leaves. Remember if you are composing grass clippings nothing should go in the compost pile that has been sprayed with weed control or pesticides.

            Plant shrubs and trees early fall. Mulch and water regularly until hard cold arrives.

            If you have fruit trees any fruit on the ground should be removed. This includes leaves and broken branches.

            Rose canes should be cut back to within a foot of the ground (once their leaves have fallen off). If you face severe cold, they should be covered for additional protection.


            As stated earlier not all of us will need to do all listed. Not all of us will do all that we need to do. Just some suggestions to make our landscape look great in Spring 2023.

For additional help stop by Gary’s Garden Center on Leesville Road.