Fall Yard Projects

(BPT) Fall is now upon us and the cooler weather is ideal for many yard projects. From getting your lawn ready for winter to cleaning up leaves to new plantings, fall is the perfect time to get your outdoor jobs done! Here are several ideas.


With fall and winter comes more water in the form of rain or snow. It is important to aerate compressed soil so water doesn’t pool on top of the grass. This will help water and nutrients reach the roots instead of staying on top. You can use a garden for on a small yard or a walk behind aerator for larger yards.

Fall is also a great time to fertilize your grass and reseed. It will help build strong roots for a better lawn for next spring and help repair damage from the summer heat and drought. Be sure to check out our wide range of Scotts Winterguard Turf Builders, Weed and Feeds and grass seeds.

Finally, give your lawn one final mowing. It is important to trim lower than you do in the summer. Why? During the warmer months, the extra height helps keep your lawn moist, but in the winter, that same height can trap moisture and breed disease. If you are not sure how low to cut it, cut to the lowest recommended length in the chart below. Extra bonus: the lower the grass, the less leaves will accumulate because they don’t have anything to latch on to!

Grass Type Name Cut Height (inches)
Cool-Season Grasses Fine fescue 0.5–3
Kentucky bluegrass 0.75–3.5
Perennial ryegrass 0.75–2.5
Tall fescue 1.5–4
Warm-season grasses Bermudagrass 0.5–2.5
Buffalograss 1.5–4
Kikuyu grass 1–1.5
St. Augustinegrass 1–3
Zoysia 0.5–2


Once your grass is cut down and ready for winter, it’s time to get all those leaves out of your yard! Be sure you have the right tools; an old rusty rake is going to make your job a lot harder. Consider investing in a new rake or leaf blower which will save you time and backache!

Avoid raking on a windy day if you can. If a windy day is the only day you have to rake, be sure to rake in the same direction the wind is blowing. If you rake against the wind, you will just be making your job a lot harder!

If you are disposing your leaves, using something like the Leaf Mate Paper Bag Funnel will save you so much time! It will help keep your lawn bag open and prevent punctures and rips in your bag. It even collapses for easy storage when not using it. The Gardex Leaf Scoop is another great way to get your leaves into the bags quickly and easily. You can also put your leaves into a compost bin, which will be wonderful nourishment for your lawn and flower beds next spring.


Once most of the leaves have dropped off the trees, it is important to clean your gutters to prevent wood rot, damage to siding and landscaping, and foundation issues. (Note: If you have a high roof or are not confident on a ladder/roof, consider hiring someone to clean your gutters for you.)

Wear a long sleeve shirt and rubber gloves. That stuff is gross in there! Have a good secure ladder and a small scoop or sand shovel to scoop it out. When scooping out the gunk, dump it onto a plastic tarp to protect your landscaping and your lawn. Finally, flush the gutters with a hose to clean the out and spot any leaks.

Prune & Clean

Trim back your trees and your perennials, especially dead and dying growth. This will help your plants invest more energy into their roots instead of bad growth. Trimming large branches can also protect your home from falling limbs during a storm. If the branches are too big or high, consider hiring a professional though!


Many people think spring is the best time to plant but in reality, fall can be a wonderful time to plan perennials. Instead of the shock of planting and growing at the same time, planting in the fall lets the plants focus on establishing roots in cool moist soil instead of dry hot soil. Generally you don’t have to water quite as often either!

Most bulbs and tubers, such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, daylillies and dahlias will bloom in the spring if you plant them in the fall.

Sutherlands HomeBase and DIY Supply carry a wide range of shrubs and trees! Be sure to get yours before they sell out for the season!


Mulch trees and garden beds before the ground freezes. This will help keep your plants warm and stop erosion of the soil.

Read more about mulch in Benefits of Mulch.