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7 fall lawn design tips your neighbors will envy

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It brings chilly weather, comfortable sweaters, bonfires, colorful leaves, and flannel shirts for an overall feeling of comfort. When you’re changing out your door wreaths and other outdoor decor to fall furnishings, don’t forget your lawn! There are some great ways to accentuate your yard so your home will truly embrace the spirit of autumn.

We will explore some different ideas for your curb appeal that will make you the envy of all your neighbors.

fall lawn
Galina Chet/Shutterstock

Useful tips for fall lawn care

Before you get too excited about buying pumpkins, potted mums, and hay bales, remember to do a little lawn maintenance. Remove those dead annuals, prune your shrubbery, and make sure your perimeter fence is in good shape. You may have to cut your grass a time or two, but make sure you don’t cut it too short. Experts also recommended you keep on watering for a few weeks. If your area isn’t receiving about an inch of rain every week, then keep those sprinklers going through October. Bob Vila says this is also a good time to aerate your soil, add fertilizer, and spread grass seed. And last but not least — get up those annoying leaves! Yes, we know it’s a chore for most homeowners, but it is necessary if you want a healthy lawn next spring.

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Now you’re ready for the fun stuff!

  • Mix colors and textures. There are so many gorgeous plants and flowers available this time of year that it’s hard to choose what to plant. Depending on where you live, here are a few choices that can add eye appeal to your yard with a variety of colors and textures. Ornamental peppers are edible and also add a pop of color with shades of red, orange, purple, yellow, and white. Snapdragons are dramatic and come in a variety of colors including orange, purple, pink, and yellow. The American Beautyberry offers glossy purple berries that will be gorgeous in any yard. Ornamental kale and cabbage come in brilliant colors and are low maintenance – making them a great choice for edging or ground cover. Some other plants to consider are mums, helenium, Virginia sweetspire, Chinese lantern, and black-eyed Susan.
  • Create curvatures. Up your lawn appeal by creating curved edges. These can dip in and out of your lawn around flower beds and trees, for example. Curved borders add extra depth and visual interest while softening the hard lines of your home.
  • Mix shrubs with perennials. Bushes give structure to your yard throughout the year and can be stunning when paired with perennials. But it can be hard to decide which combinations work best together. Better Homes & Gardens shows a list of great ones that go well together. Here are a few suggestions: agave Blue Flame and Blue Glow; asters, verbena, and ornamental grasses; dahlias, verbena, and ornamental grasses.
  • Emphasize texture. Make your yard more impressive by creating texture contrasts. You can achieve this by staying within a particular color palette and selecting plants that offer a variety of leaves. For example, verbena or black-eyed Susan provide a nice texture contrast to zebra grass.
  • Color contrast. It takes at least two different colors to make a significant impact in your outdoor space. Yellow-green and purplish-red are ideal partners because they contrast nicely. Bring this combination to life with Japanese variegated golden wood grass and Fens Ruby spurge.
  • Work with the light. The light in the fall can be beautiful, so take advantage of the golden glow to make your lawn look like a work of art. If appropriate where you like, consider planting trees like sugar maples and Japanese maples, which look like they’re on fire when the fall sun hits them.
  • Keep things simple. Evergreen plants, such as Japanese Red Pine, are impressive specimens that add interest to your lawn year-round. This pine has a majestic branched structure with yellow needles that glow so vividly the tree looks like it is electric. Since this will be the star of the show, pair with less showy plants like wooly thyme and ajuga. Gardening Know How says, “Japanese red pine trees are for the most part, disease and pest free.”

fall lawn

Shop the sales

Autumn can be a great time to look for bargains when purchasing trees and other plants. Sometimes, nurseries will continue to reduce prices until nearly winter so they can get rid of as much stock as possible. Trees that are most successful for planting this time of year include crabapple, maples, pines, spruces, and sycamores. Most shrubs are OK to plant in the fall, as well. However, save large trees for planting in the spring — and it’s probably best to have a professional do the work.

Now, go out there and add a few pumpkins, a hay bale, mums, gourds, and maybe a scarecrow – and you’re all set for fall!

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Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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