Fall Landscape Tips
Fall Is a Great Time to Plant!
While seasoned gardeners know that fall is the time to plant flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips for the spring season, others may be surprised to know that it is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. The warm soil is great for root development and plants have several months to establish themselves before the stress of the summer heat.
Fall Landscaping Tips – Fall To Do List
- Pull weeds. Do it now and you’ll have fewer weeds next season.
- Rake and remove the leaves in the yard to avoid damage to the grass so you can enjoy a healthier lawn next summer. Doing so also can protect water quality. In winter, freezing and thawing can cause leaves, dead grass plants, and other organic debris to release soluble forms of phosphate (and nitrates). If these chemicals run off frozen ground during spring snow melt and early spring rains, they can end up in surface water.
- Recycle leaves. One option is to compost them, because composting keeps leaves out of streets and storm sewers. You can also use fallen leaves, whole or chipped by a power mower, as winter mulch around rose bushes and landscape plants.
- Give trees and shrubs a deep watering after the leaves on the trees drop and just before turning the outside water off for the season.
- Keep your grass at 2 to 2½ inches tall throughout the fall. If your grass gets much taller (more than 3 inches) it will mat, and this could lead to winter lawn disease problems such as snow mold. If you cut it shorter than 2 inches, you’ll severely limit its ability to make and store food for growth in the spring.
- Cut most perennials back close to the ground.
- Wash gardening sprayers with soapy water before storing.
- Clean, oil, and sharpen gardening tools before storing for the season.
- Shut off water lines to the outside. If you have an automatic irrigation system, avoid damage by having it blown out with compressed air before the water freezes in the pipes.
- Late-fall pruning and proper mowing through the end of the season are good maintenance practices that will help to protect and preserve the health and vigor of the lawn and landscape.