Just a few days ago, we waved goodbye to summer and said hello to autumn. It’s no surprise why many New Jersey residents consider fall their favorite season of the year. Cooler weather, football-packed weekends, and pumpkin-spiced everything – what’s not to like?

Here’s the thing, though: Autumn is a critical time for your yard. Should you stand pat and not really do anything, you could be forcing your yard to play catch-up the following growing season. Keep in mind that cooling temperatures slow aboveground growth, while moist soil encourages strong root development.

Here are some tips for fall yard cleanup, as referenced from This Old House:

Aerate the lawn   

After a hot summer, your lawn could use some relief. Aerating allows both water and key nutrients to reach the roots. By doing this now, your lawn will be ahead of the game come next spring.

If you do, in fact, choose to aerate the lawn this fall, do yourself a favor and hire a professional. The last thing you want to do is waste money on DIY tools and equipment that do your grass more harm than good.


This ties in with aerating. Believe it or not, grass roots keep growing until the ground reaches about 40 degrees. With that in mind, autumn is an ideal time to fertilize.

We recommend applying a high-phosphorus mix to lawns in fall to encourage roots. Maybe you’re wondering, “Is it really worth my time?” Well, if you want a greener, more lush lawn next spring, then fertilizing now is a must.

Mow smartly

You’ve probably thought about mowing for the final time of the season. Your best bet is to trim your grass down to about 1 ¼ inches before calling it quits. This is because disease has a much more difficult time latching on to shorter grass than longer grass.

While 1 ¼ inches might seem pretty low, this doesn’t mean you should scald your lawn before season’s end. It’s important to know that grass makes most of its food in the upper blade.

Collect leaves  

Depending on the size of your yard and the number of trees you have, leaves can be a pain to deal with in fall. Sure, you could make a concerted effort to rake at least once a week. Another idea is to invest in a top-of-the-line leaf blower.

But have you ever thought about using these fallen leaves as compost? The fact is that leaves will naturally aerate your lawn over time. Not to mention, the “black gold” that results in the spring can feed lawns, flower beds, and shrub borders.

Plant new shrubs

Looking to be more proactive with your gardening? Then take advantage of the cooler temperatures and start planting shrubs. Once you dig a hole, position the shrub before filling in with soil.

From there, water to settle the soil and, if necessary, add more soil to the top of the root ball. Then add some mulch and watch as Mother Nature does her thing.

Trim dead limbs

Take a look at the trees on your property. Do you notice any loose, cracked, and/or diseased branches? The last thing you want is for heavy wind and winter snow to cause further damage to your trees.

If you have the proper tools, feel free to take on this job yourself. Otherwise, leave this precise work to the professionals.

Winterize irrigation systems

Here’s the big one. Standing water has the potential to freeze and crack any sort of drip irrigation tubing. Plus, a major leak usually leads to uprooting the entire system.

At Tanz Inc, we can take the hassle out of your next sprinkler blowout. Since 1982, New Jersey residents have relied on us for sprinkler system installation, sprinkler system repair, and property maintenance as a whole.

When it comes to winterizing a sprinkler system, the “Irrigation King” makes the process simple and stress-free. Each of our team members is reliable, respectful, and professional. Most importantly, we put your needs and concerns at the top of our priority list.

See why homeowners depend on Tanz to winterize their sprinkler system. Contact us today to get started and don’t forget to ask about our various commercial property maintenance services as well.