Now that fall is here your landscaping needs will change as you lawn and plants begin to prepare for winter. Your grass, plants, shrubs and trees are growing at a slower rate and soon will enter a dormant state as the winter temperatures arrive.
To prepare your landscape for the coming winter, there are important things you need to do now during the fall. Without proper the proper care during the fall, your grass, plants, shrubs and trees may not survive the cold temperatures of winter.
To prepare your landscape for winter, take a look at these 7 essential tips for fall landscaping.
1. Keep a Well-Maintained Landscape
Regular landscaping care and maintenance of your yard and gardens during the fall will strengthen your lawn, plants, trees, and shrubs to ensure that they survive the winter.
An overgrown and poorly maintained lawn will contribute to harmful insects that cause lawn diseases and overgrown foliage, shrubs and trees will invite unwanted outdoor pests. To prevent these problems, make sure you mow your lawn, trim shrubs and trees as needed, and clean up fall debris to keep a well-maintained fall landscape.
By hiring a professional landscape company, like Golf Greens Texas, you can ensure regular landscaping services for your home.
Professional landscape crews will take care of your landscaping needs every week, every other week, or once a month, so you don’t have to worry about problems.
Golf Greens Texas’s Basic Fall Landscaping Services include:
- the removal of debris from your yard and flower beds. We will remove fallen leaves, twigs, nuts, dead flowers, etc.
We have additional add-on Fall Landscaping Services that include:
- Artificial Turf Grooming – if you have artificial turf installed in your yard we will clean it and fluff it for you, no matter who did the installation.
- Shrub Trimming – if those shrubs are getting out of hand we will tidy them up for you.
- Firewood purchase and Stacking – purchase firewood to get you through the winter and we will unload it and stack it neatly for you.
- Irrigation Services and Winterization of Faucets – don’t let your pipes freeze. We will make your outdoor faucets winter ready.
- Installation of Fall Flowers and Plants – just because it is fall doesn’t mean your flower bed has to be bare and unattractive.
- Gutter Cleanup – rain gutters can get clogged with debris. We will clean them out for you and have your gutters ready for the fall and winter rain and snow storms.
2. Fertilize Your Lawn and Plants
Everyone knows to fertilize their lawn in spring to jump start new growth, but it is just as important to fertilize in the fall to protect your lawn in the winter.
Fertilizing your grass and plants in the fall will help them to store essential nutrients in their root system ensuring they have enough food for winter. Fall fertilization will promote healthy, stable roots and encourage new leaf growth in the spring. It will also help your lawn and plants fight against environmental winter stresses like freezing ground temperatures, rainstorms, snowstorms and ice.
If you don’t have mulch in your landscape, it’s time to apply it. If you do, it’s time to fluff it up. To “Fluff” your mulch, take a rake or use your hands to stir up the mulch and flip the pieces, it will both separate clumps (aiding in better air flow to roots), and improve the aesthetics of the area.
Mulch helps to:
- Retain moisture in the soil
- Maintain even soil temperatures
- Prevent soil erosion
- Reduce soil compaction
- Prevent weed growth
- Provide a neat, “finished” appearance
If you need to add more fresh mulch, keep the pile around two or three inches deep.
Deep mulch piles, over four inches, prevent water from reaching plant roots effectively and become good hiding places for insects and outdoor pests.
4. Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating your lawn in the fall allows essential oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate your soil. The early fall aeration will help your grass and plants’ roots store the important nutrients they need to survive through the winter months. Lawn aeration also reduces weeds, loosens the soil, and improves drainage.
There are two methods of lawn aeration: spike aerators that simply punch holes in the soil, and plug aerators that take plugs of soil out of the turf. It is best to use a plug aerator as it will provide more efficient results. Spike aerators often don’t create large enough holes to allow for adequate air, water and fertilizer to reach turf roots.
5. Over-Seed or Re-sod Your Lawn or Install Artificial Turf
In the fall, your lawn can benefit from over-seeding, even if it looks perfectly healthy.
Many types of grass have a short lifespan lasting only a few years, so over-seeding in the fall will prevent your lawn from becoming thin and overrun with unsightly weeds.
Over-seeding will help parts of the lawn that are stressed from foot traffic or the burning sun. The amount of seed you need depends on the condition of the lawn, but on average you need about three pounds of seed for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Another option is to switch to an artificial turf lawn replacement. Fall is the perfect time to have your artificial turf lawn installed because it is the landscaping off season. And with an artificial turf lawn your lawn will be picture perfect when your family and friends arrive to celebrate the fall and winter holidays.
6. Do Some Planting and Pruning
Plant perennials and divide or re-space the ones already in your gardens and flowerbeds during the early fall months.
To divide the plants, just sink your shovel into the soil, loosen the dirt and lift out the plant. When you get the plant out of the ground, loosen the dirt around the root system, then carefully split the plant.
Dividing perennials in the fall will help to control the plant’s size, revitalize the plant and create more plants in the spring.
Swap out your summer annuals with colorful fall-bloomers like mums and pansies.
Fall is also the time to trim your shrubs and trees to prevent overgrowth in your landscape during the winter. Shrubs and trees should be pruned before the wintry weather arrives. Some trees and shrubs may need pruning to control their size, while others may need pruning to prevent damage from winter snow and ice storms.
7. Prevent Weeds and Outdoor Pests
If weeds found a home in your yard during the summer, fall is an ideal time to apply herbicides to eliminate them. In the fall weeds are in energy-absorbing mode, rather than growth mode, so getting rid of them will be easier than during the spring or summer. Applying an herbicide in the fall will eliminate existing weeds and keep them from popping up again in the spring. Most herbicide manufacturers recommend applying weed killers in early or mid-fall.
As temperatures begin to drop during the fall, insects, rodents and other outdoor pests begin looking for a warm winter habitat. Applying pesticides in the fall will help to prevent insects and outdoor pests from invading your landscape, and possibly your home.
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