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Pro tips

Fall Garden Care in 8 Simple Steps

Good fall lawn and garden care ensure that your garden will flourish in the spring. Here are a few quick steps to take before the first frost in order to prepare your outdoor living spaces for the coming seasons.

Images showing a soil before and after aeration
1

Aerate the Soil

Preventing compaction by turning your soil helps air and nutrients penetrate the soil, promoting grass growth and strong plants. Loosen the soil before the first frosts, while it’s still warm.
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Person using a lawn mower
2

Keep Mowing the Lawn

Don’t put the lawn mower away just yet! Grass keeps growing right up until the first frosts, so it’s important to keep cutting it regularly. Short grass is sensitive to the cold and long grass is susceptible to mould, so aim for a length of 2 ½ to 3”.
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3

Apply Fall Fertilizer

Promote root, leaf, and flower health by applying lawn fertilizer. All fertilizers add important nutrients to the soil; however, the ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium will vary depending on the time of year. In the fall, a 20-8-8 ratio is ideal, since the added nitrogen will stimulate grass growth before the ground freezes. For best results, always follow the directions on the packaging.
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Pro Tip

Apply fertilizer immediately after aerating the lawn to help nutrients penetrate the ground’s surface and reach the roots.
Grass with yellow bald spots
4

Repair Patchy Spots

Dense, healthy lawns tend to better withstand droughts. Fall is the perfect time to patch up any bare or dry spots. Simply spread grass seed on and around the affected area.
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5

Plant Shrubs and Trees

Starting in October, it’s time to plant new trees and shrubs. Soil that’s still warm, combined with the milder sun, helps trees and shrubs develop a healthy root system over the following months.
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Pro Tip

Water newly planted trees or shrubs heavily for about two weeks, then water them generously once per week. Remember that dry, cool weather can cause the soil to dry out faster.
Person planting flower bulbs
6

Plant Spring Bulbs

October is also the perfect time to plant spring bulbs (also called hardy bulbs) so they can take root before the ground freezes. Daffodils, irises, crocuses, and hyacinths will be ready to bloom when spring comes around.
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7

Rake Up Fallen Leaves

Dead leaves on the ground trap in moisture, block the sunlight, and harbour pests. Get yourself a good quality rake to tackle this fall chore!
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Pro Tip

Don’t feel like raking or sweeping your driveway and patio stones? Leaf blowers allow you to clear away dead leaves and dirt quickly and effortlessly.
Person cleaning a garden bed using a rake
8

Tidy Up the Garden

Remove dead or diseased plants by hand or with a cultivator. Then, remove any remaining roots with a rake and prune all perennials over 3 years old flush to the ground (do not prune young perennials).
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