Fall is one of the best times to improve your lawn, trees, shrubs, and garden. The basic maintenance you do during this “second spring” will pay off in healthier growth and fewer problems next year.
Now is the time to add a layer of mulch around your trees. In the winter, mulch insulates the roots and provides nutrients. It helps the soil retain moisture, too. Even large and old trees benefit from adding a ring of mulch.
Apply mulch to a ring around the tree trunk. Remember the Rule of 3:
Pro-tip! Have lots of leaves? Use them as a great mulch around your trees and across your garden beds.
Download a guide on how to apply mulch properly.
A beautiful lawn next spring starts with simple actions you can take this fall.
Learn from your soil. Whether it’s through weeds, or empty patches, the look of your lawn tells you about the health of the soil. The soil should be loose and teeming with life too small to see—if your lawn is suffering, start with aerating your lawn, adding compost, re-seeding, and leaving all your grass and leaf clippings as a source of nutrients.
Replace your “weed and feed” chemicals with grass seed. Fall is the perfect time to restore bare patches of lawn with seed—do this every year to fill in your lawn, because a strong carpet of grass will keep weed seeds from germinating.
3 ways to prep your lawn for winter.
Download our fall organic lawn care guide.
Visit our new organic lawn care website
During the fall, your yard becomes covered with leaves. What should you do with these leaves and other types of yard trim?
Mulch it in the yard. Pile excess leaves as mulch across garden beds, or in a back corner of your yard. Lots of pollinators will overwinter on the leaves, too, so you are doing nature a favor. If there are still than can be mulched, more run your lawn mower across extra leaves to chop them into small bits, and let them feed your lawn.
Compost It. Recycle leaves, grass clippings, and garden prunings into a nutrient-rich soil amendment, better known as “black gold” or compost.
The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection provides compost bins at no additional charge to residents of the County. Simply add leaves, grass clippings, and garden prunings into the compost bin, add water, and mix the materials periodically. Then, let nature do its thing. Over time, microorganisms will feed on the organic material, leaving you with compost you can add to your soil.
Recycle Yard Trim Properly. If you receive Montgomery County-provided recycling collection service, and you don’t have the space to mulch or compost, place your yard trim out for weekly curbside recycling collection. The County collects yard trim year-round. Place yard trim in paper yard trim bags, in reusable containers labeled with a yard trim sticker, or bundle with twine. Please note, yard trim cannot be placed in plastic bags.
For more information about the County’s yard trim recycling program or where to get a compost bin, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/yardtrim or call 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311.