As the leaves begin to turn and we await the arrival of sweater weather, it’s time to start thinking about fall landscaping. If you’re a home seller, this is important because attractive landscaping helps create curb appeal.

Here are some things to remember to get your terrain ready for fall and the cold months ahead.

Mulching

Fall mulching is the key to keeping roots protected, moisturized and warm during the colder months. On top of fluffing up and turning your mulch, add 2-3 inches of fresh mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs to help them retain heat through winter.

Be careful about what type of mulch you buy, as free municipal mulch often contains disease spores that can spread to your lawn.

Pruning

No need to go crazy with the shears, just lightly prune dead branches from trees and shrubs. Remove dried blossoms from hydrangeas but make sure not to remove the stalks even if they look dead. Hydrangeas are perennials, meaning they’re dormant during the winter and bloom again for years.

Planting

Replace all your dead summer annuals with fall flowers like mums and pansies. Choose mums in vibrant fall hues like orange, gold and bronze.

Remember to plant your spring bulbs during autumn. It can be confusing because they’re called ‘spring’ bulbs but they need to be planted in the fall so they bloom in time for spring.

If you want to add more color to your fall landscaping, consider placing pumpkins, gourds, dried cornstalks, bales of hay and other whiskey-barrel potted plants framed around the front door.

Cleanup

Remember to clear your gutters monthly! During the fall, leaves clog up the gutters making it an ideal space for seeds to bury themselves. If you don’t clean out your gutters, those seeds will grow into their own garden and will make the exterior of your house look unkept.

Protect

If you have any delicate shrubs in your garden, it can’t hurt to place an overturned plastic pot or bucket over the plant to protect it from heavy snow, ice and winds. You can also wrap up sensitive scrubs like boxwood in burlap.

Mowing & Watering

It may seem weird to mow the lawn when it’s cold, but it’s important to keep mowing until your lawn stops growing. If you let your grass grow, it will create shade for other blades around them. Keep your grass around 3” all year round and your lawn will thank you.

Lastly, just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can stop watering your lawn. Water all evergreens sufficiently in October to reduce dehydration over the winter.

Written by Helena Kim
Helena Kim is a writer, editor and lover of style, beauty, home + garden, great food, DIY crafts, and people with stories to tell. She has worked for Chicago Magazine, Craft Ideas Magazine, Bustle, Dose Media and several other interior design blogs. A University of Iowa graduate, you can usually find her doodling, crafting or writing.