CLEVELAND, Oh — As the weather starts to shift, it’s important to finish up those ‘later Fall’ tasks. Fox 8’s Scott Sabol spent some time with AJ Petitti, President of Petitti Garden Centers, to go over the final ‘to do’ list.
The Petitti Team summed up AJ’s list:
Lower the blade to 1.5” to shorten the grass significantly as it goes dormant. Leaving grass taller over the winter is not recommended, as blades will begin to lay over and become compacted, which leads to snow mold and additional diseases in the spring.
It’s still important to put Winterizer or your 4th step of the season down now. The purpose is not to drive new green growth now but rather for the grass roots to store the nutrients as the lawn goes dormant, which will help it explode out of the ground next spring.
Bonide® Lawn Weed Killer is still effective in the cool fall temperatures, so go ahead and apply it now if you’re still experiencing lots of weeds in your yard. It’s a selective, systemic control product that kills broad leaf weeds like dandelion, chickweed, clover, and more – roots and all – to decrease the likelihood you’ll see these perennial weeds return next spring.
The window of opportunity for patching, repairing, seeding, or over-seeding the lawn has officially passed for this fall. Your next opportunity is spring!
Late fall is still an excellent time to plant trees & shrubs. The soil is still warm and the air temperatures are cool, which means roots can establish with ease and without stress for an even better start next spring.
Late fall is still a great time to plant spring-blooming bulbs – aka “fall bulbs – like crocus, tulips, daffodils, and more. In fact, they can be planted anytime this season until the ground freezes – which is not likely to occur until mid-December!
Raking the Leaves
As the leaves fall, be sure to get them up and off the grass. Leaving them sit over winter will cause them to compact, which pushes the grass down and leads to snow mold next spring.
When perennials display yellow-brown falling leaves and go dormant, it’s a good time to cut them back and clean them up for the winter. Large grasses can also be cut back once dormant though, if left up, the plumes do serve as a nice food source for birds over the winter. Do not prune evergreens at this time, but do feed them with Holly-tone® and Iron-tone®! Evergreens will store the nutrients in the root system over the winter for a better start next spring. Generally speaking, only light pruning of large plants, trees, and shrubs is recommended in late fall (removing spent flower heads, etc.), but it’s best to avoid heavy pruning until the plant is completely dormant or late winter/early spring before plants wake up again.