Fall in Virginia is delightful and delicious. Late September and early October are spectacular in our region, with bright warm days and cool nights. The weather is just perfect for spending time outside and working in the yard. The need to keep up with the mowing that occupies us all summer falls away. So some of us stop thinking about our landscapes in the fall. In fact, there’s plenty you can do in fall to beautify your late-season landscape and get ready for spring.
What Should I Do In My Yard in September/October?
Raking leaves is what most of us think of as fall rolls around in Virginia. But there’s so much more you can tackle as temperatures drop. Here are some tips for yard care to prepare for a lush and gorgeous spring growing season:
- Start fall with a short cut. As fall approaches, we want to bring our blade height down to 2 or 2.5 inches. This prevents mold and disease in colder weather.
- Fertilize: Fall is the perfect time to fortify your lawn after the hot summer growing season. Early to mid-October is an ideal time to apply fertilizer. Mow the lawn and fertilize before the ground freezes. This will give your lawn’s roots a head start for spring.
- Mulch: Most of us go on a mulching spree every spring. But fall is also an excellent time to mulch. Apply mulch around your trees, perennials, and cool-weather annuals. This helps plants retain moisture during the winter months, prevents soil erosion, and helps prevent weeds come spring.
- Weed: Weeding is easier in the fall, as those tough weeds begin to fade. Clearing out unwanted growth can help reduce the risk of mildew and disease and get your spring growing season started right.
- Seed: September and October are the time to plant cool-season grass seeds for a gorgeous lawn next spring. Grasses love the warm days, cool evenings, and consistent moisture of autumn.
- Water: Give your plants and trees a good soaking before you turn off the hose and irrigation systems for winter.
What Can I Plant in the Fall in Virginia?
Putting in some well-chosen plants in the fall can beautify your landscape for the rest of the year and help you knock it out of the park next spring and summer.
- October is a perfect time to plant colorful, cold-hardy flowers and plants like pansies, mums, and ornamental cabbages. They bring brilliance and sparkle to your fall landscape.
- You can also plant perennials in the fall for next spring and summer. Peonies are one of our all-time favorites, and late September/October is the perfect time to plant for spring blooms. Pick a sunny spot where they’ll thrive in full sun. Hardy perennials like Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans usually do well when planted in the fall, and you can sow wildflower seeds for a stunning meadow aesthetic next spring.
- Trees: Plant evergreens and cool weather-loving deciduous trees like maples before the end of October to allow the roots to develop before winter.
When Should I Plant Spring Bulbs In Virginia?
Just think about those first lovely days of spring when gorgeous tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths magically pop up and bring us joy after a long winter. Only it doesn’t happen by magic. Now is the time to plant bulbs for the perfect spring landscape. The ideal time to plant bulbs is after the first frost but before the ground freezes. So here in Virginia, we’re looking at late September through October. Let’s get those bulbs in the ground.
Fall Maintenance and Planting on Your List? Hire a Pro.
Fall in Virginia is something to celebrate and enjoy. It’s one of our favorite times of the year at Epling as we help clients plan and get ready for spring. Here’s why it makes sense to hire a pro for fall maintenance and planting:
- We’ve got the timing down on everything from that final mow to planting new flowers and trees.
- We have access to the most stunning varieties of fall plants and spring-blooming bulbs and perennials. And we know exactly where to put them for maximum success and stunning results.
- Mulch and fertilizer can be tricky. Our professional team knows what products to use and how to apply them for your specific landscape.
- We can help you choose cold-hardy trees for your fall and winter landscape. Our team can help you select the perfect varieties, take care of planting and keep up with maintenance so those valuable trees will survive and thrive.
- If the short nights and brisk weather have you thinking about extras like additional landscape lighting and fire pits, we’re here for you.
The craziness of the summer landscaping season is at an end. But there’s a lot we can do in September and October. Let’s take a breather and talk about how to achieve a gorgeous fall landscape and get ready for spring.