FAQs: Preparing Your Backyard for Fall

School is back in session, and before you know it, sweaters will come back out of hiding and we’ll be winding the clocks an hour back.

Though we’re fortunate enough to have some mild seasons here in coastal North Carolina, fall is still on the way! And while you’re rearranging closets and preparing for the cooler months to come, don’t forget about your backyard.

If you’re new to the area, or maybe have landscaping duties for the first time, you might be at a loss as to what your lawn needs in order to look and be at its best as we transition to autumn weather. Luckily, your neighbors on the Michelle Clark Team have a few tips to share!

When should I start?

We recommend conducting a walk-through of your lawn and garden areas about a month before fall normally hits; this way, you have time to plan for the tasks at hand. Spaces like a flower garden will need different levels of care and attention than grassy expanses or even vegetable patches, so you’ll want to know that you have plenty of time to do what needs to be accomplished without disrupting the rest of your routine.

What do I do with summer annuals?

Unfortunately, any summer-specific plants are just that and won’t thrive in the cooler temperatures to come. The good news is that once you remove your summer annuals from your gardens, you’ve made room for seasonal substitutes! Now is a great time to look into a few suitable flowers and plants that will bloom in fall and even make it through the winter, so you can keep your yard looking lively even when the trees begin losing their leaves.

What should I do about the soil?

Prior to the onset of colder weather, make sure that after you remove dead annuals and spent bulbs you go ahead and amend the bare spots you’ve left behind. You can do this by adding in compost and peat moss to replace lost nutrients. We’ve found that a rake or garden fork works just as well for this particular task, though some might decide to use tools better suited for digging deeper into the ground in preparation for spring planting.

What about my grass?

Ah, yes. One noticeable side effect to the more pleasant changes that come with autumn is that your lush green lawn will eventually dry up and switch to a duller hue. The good news is that your grass will come back next spring! In the meantime, we suggest giving cool-season grasses like fescue a try. You can use this time before freezing temperatures creep in to sow the seeds, giving them time to take root.

There’s plenty to love about fall here in southeastern North Carolina, even if we will miss days spent on the beach in our bathing suits versus taking a walk on the sand in jackets! For more tips you can use to make the most of your home here on the coast, stay tuned to our blog, or contact our local experts.