In New England, the fall season typically starts in late September and lasts through early December. The timing for prepping your landscape for fall in our region would generally be during the late summer and early fall months. As a guide, here's a rough timeline for when you can start various tasks:
Late August to Early September:
Fertilize: Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your lawn to promote root growth.
Remove Dead Plants: Clear out any dead or dying annual plants from your garden beds.
Prune: Trim back perennials and shrubs that have finished flowering.
Pull weeds to prevent them from going to seed.
Mid to Late September:
Apply a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs, and garden beds to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
Fall is a good time to plant certain trees, shrubs, and perennials. Aim to plant at least a few weeks before the first frost to allow plants to establish roots.
Early to Mid October:
As trees begin to shed their leaves, start raking and collecting leaves for composting or disposal.
Late October to Early November:
Aerate: If needed, aerate your lawn to improve soil compaction and allow for better water and nutrient penetration.
Consider wrapping burlap around delicate shrubs to protect them from harsh winter winds.
*Throughout the Fall:
Continue watering your landscape until the ground freezes to ensure plants are adequately hydrated before winter.
Collect leaves, plant trimmings, and other organic materials for composting.
Remember that the specific timing for these tasks can vary based on the weather conditions of each year. It's also a good idea to consult local gardening resources, such as your state's agricultural extension service, for more precise recommendations tailored to your area within New England.