While you might be sneaking in a couple more swimming days in your heated pool, fall is indeed here. Don’t be sad that summer is over! Instead, celebrate the changing of the season by welcoming fall into your Long Island backyard with these great features.
Contrary to popular belief, fall is a great time for gardening and planting new plants. The cooler weather makes gardening a whole lot more pleasant. With less sunlight, trees, shrubs, and vegetables get less energy from photosynthesis so they use the opportunity to redirect energy from their leaves into growing deeper, stronger root systems to tap into the rich soil that summer left behind. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower are bigger, juicier, tenderer, and more flavorful when grown in fall. As a rule of thumb, get your fall plantings well before the first frost so that they can be well established by the time the ground loses the heat held over from the summer. Also make sure to give your fall plantings adequate water as this can easily be forgotten when the weather is cooler.
Consider a Compost Heap
Fall is a great time to start a compost heap. The volume of leaves and dead plant matter is perfect for recycling into fertilizer for your spring plantings. To do this, find an out-of-the-way rectangular section of backyard that you can use for your compost heap, or better yet, get a compost bin. Layer dead leaves and brown plant matter first then create alternating layers of green matter such as grass cuttings or vegetable peels from your kitchen. A small amount of moisture is necessary to kick start the decomposition process, but not too much so that it becomes slushy. Give your compost heap a turning every two to three weeks. You’ll know it’s working if the heap gives off a small amount of heat. Fallen leaves can also be collected during fall and used to shield perennials from the snow during winter.
A Fire Pit
A fire pit is the perfect fall-time feature for your backyard. The cool temperatures and early evenings of fall make the fire pit a welcome addition to your outdoor spaces. Gathering with your friends and family in the campfire is a must have for making better use of your backyard during the fall and even extending its use into the winter. Because of their open nature, fire pits are ideally suited to entertaining large groups of guests and concentric permanent seating can be added to turn your fire pit into a welcoming focal point for your backyard.
An Outdoor Fireplace
If protection from the elements is more of a priority to you than the open feel of a fire pit, an outdoor fireplace is the perfect solution. The back wall of a fireplace can easily be extended to shield from the wind and create a cozy, intimate outdoor space. Alternatively, outdoor fireplaces can be built into alcoves created by retaining walls or onto the side of you home. Because of the chimney funneling smoke up and away, you needn’t worry about smoke getting inside as you might with a fire pit. If smaller groups and a log cabin ambience are more to your taste, we highly recommend an outdoor fireplace for you.