Published on: Friday, November 4, 2022 Takoma Park Newsletter

Fall Yard Tips


Fall is one of the best times to improve your lawn, trees, shrubs, and garden. The basic maintenance you do during this “second spring” will pay off in healthier growth and fewer problems next year.

Mulch your trees.

Now is the time to add a layer of mulch around your trees. In the winter, mulch insulates the roots and provides nutrients. It helps the soil retain moisture, too. Even large and old trees benefit from adding a ring of mulch. The mulch should not touch the base of the tree. Apply mulch to a ring around the tree trunk. Remember the Rule of 3:

  1. The mulch ring should extend 3 feet out from the trunk;
  2. The mulch should start 3 inches from the trunk so that no mulch touches the tree; and
  3. The mulch should be 3 inches deep (but not more).
Start organic lawn care.

A beautiful lawn next spring starts with simple actions you can take this fall.

  • Learn from your soil. Whether it’s through weeds, or empty patches, the look of your lawn tells you about the health of the soil. The soil should be loose and teeming with life too small to see—if your lawn is suffering, start with aerating your lawn, adding compost, re-seeding, and leaving all your grass and leaf clippings as a source of nutrients.
  • Replace your “weed and feed” chemicals with grass seed. Fall is the perfect time to restore bare patches of lawn with seed—do this every year to fill in your lawn because a strong carpet of grass will keep weed seeds from germinating.
Recycle your yard trim.

During the fall, your yard becomes covered with leaves. What should you do with these leaves and other types of yard trim Compost it. Take leaves, grass clippings, and garden prunings and recycle them into a nutrient-rich soil amendment, better known as “black gold” or compost.

  • If you have more yard waste than you can compost, the Public Works Department collects yard waste from all single-family homes and most small apartment buildings within the City of Takoma Park year-round. Yard waste collection is a curbside collection service and is offered once a week on Mondays.
  • Public Works also offers curbside loose-leaf collection in the


This article was featured in the November 2022 Newsletter. Visit the Takoma Park Newsletter webpage to see the full list of past newsletters.