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Chicago Landscaping Fall Cleanup Tips

Lawn MaintenanceA fall clean-up marks the end of the summer blooming season for plants, especially here in Chicago, where our winters can be very harsh on plants and trees. It is a good idea to take the necessary measures to protect your garden/landscape.

A good thorough clean-up is the secret to a successful garden. As you see the leaves begin to change their color and fall to the ground, begin to prepare for this season by clearing out areas in your garden every week of dead plants, or those such as Hostas that do not thrive above ground in cold climates.

You can perform the following tasks gradually, or all at once. I prefer scheduling my fall clean-ups for one good thorough removal of dead plants, aeration, and fertilizing among other items that I put on my fall clean-up checklist.

Okay, so now that we know that we are approaching our fall clean-up season let’s make a list.


Mowing your lawn and aerating are always best done after you have raked up all of your fall leaves.

You may opt to use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn as this acts as a natural fertilizer; however, I would caution you that if you have mold on your grass this can spread the mold to other areas of your garden, which is why Medina Lawncare opts not to do this.

If you want to give your lawn a boost – a time-released fertilizer will give you a slow steady release of nutrients, and prevents leggy growth in the spring.

Clean under your shrubs and trees by raking away any debris that has accumulated and cultivating your soil in the bedding areas. This will help eliminate the build-up of mold and fungal diseases, along with breaking up soil compaction.

Next, you want to put down a layer of mulch – I always recommend 2-4 inches of any organic mulch such as hardwood. I usually go with black forest because it’s the most natural, although in our region shredded pine seems to be the mulch of choice.

A handheld blower is very useful in removing debris and leaves that have found their way into stairwells, under decks and porches, gangways, and the foundation line of the property and fence lines.

Of course, you also want to consider adding color for the fall, a time that most people in the Midwest enjoy because of the brilliant spectrum of color that is readily available. You do this by incorporating container gardens and fall plantings. We will be covering this topic in our next video.

It sounds like a simple process but performing a fall clean-up is a vital part of your landscape and garden upkeep. It can be very labor-intensive and at times back-breaking!

Remember do not wait too long to perform a fall clean-up because things can freeze pretty quickly. VERY IMPORTANT – Know your plants to avoid removing buds that are setting their blooms and leaves for the next year’s growth; additionally, have the right equipment on hand.

Of course, if you’re looking for professional Chicago landscapers, you can call Medina Lawncare at 773-777-5296, and we’ll be happy to provide you with this service so that you can enjoy your garden, watch the glorious fall colors – and let us do the work!

Medina Lawncare

Medina Lawncare has been providing lawn maintenance since 1967. Our experience as landscape designers, installers and maintenance professionals has built us a positive reputation in the Chicago area, and we would like to share the benefit of our experience with you.