Landscaping Essentials for Fall

Many are used to the routine of doing serious yardwork during the spring and summer seasons, but what’s in store for landscaping during the fall? Here is a quick look at the landscaping supplies you’ll want to have on hand—and key things you’ll need to remember—as you spruce up and maintain your yard this fall.

Landscaping Tools and Supplies

Rake T

his one is a given, but it’s worth the extra reminder. A clog-free rake will help to minimize your raking frustrations. In addition to a traditionally-sized rake, it’s a good idea to invest in a narrower shrub rake for small spaces.

Tip bags

These bags are great for collecting leaves because they are large, have a wide rim, and stay all the way open at all times—making dumping leaves into them a cinch.

Garden cart

If you think you’ll be hauling around an especially large amount of leaves and garden debris, you might want to invest in a garden cart for easy transport.

Leaf shredder

If you’re tired of filling bags with leaves, you might opt for shredding your leaves for use in mulch instead using an electric leaf shredder.

Pruners and loppers

What major landscaping job isn’t complete without some pruning? Be sure to invest in high-quality pruners to get your shrubbery in top shape. For more serious jobs, you’ll want some loppers on hand, as well. Trimming dead branches is important for preparing for the winter months when these branches could succumb to winter winds and snow.

Garden fork

You’ll need this to aerate your soil—a task that is best done in the fall and spring.

The right apparel

Don’t forget to wear the necessary tools as well. It’s a good idea to wear tough gloves and waterproof rubber boots as you work in the yard, plus goggles if you’re working with anything like a leaf shredder.

Landscaping Tips

Lower your lawn mower.

Many raise the height of their lawn mowers during the summer to protect the ground from scorching and to help the grass retain its moisture. Now that it’s fall and temperatures have dropped, you’ll want to lower your lawn mower back down. A good height to aim for is about 2 inches. Lower grass is great preparation for winter, and leaves are more likely to blow across the lawn rather than get caught on taller blades of grass.

Aerate your soil.

Aerating your lawn is important for relieving soil compaction and for allowing water and nutrients to reach your roots. A simple garden fork will do the trick, but for a larger yard you might want to use a mechanical aerator. Follow up with a top dressing.


Did you know that your grass continues to grow until the ground gets to be about 40 degrees? Fertilize with a high-phosphorus fertilizer during the fall to encourage early growth in the spring.

Mulch young plants.

A fresh 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch applied after a light frost but before the ground freezes will help keep new plantings warm and prevent water runoff and soil erosion.