The time to prepare your yard for the next growing season is here. The environment is ideal for plant growth. The cold temperatures slow any above ground growth, while the moist soil encourages root development. You need to remove all spent stems, leaf cover, and dead branches to protect overall plant health. As you prepare your plants for winter, here is your essential fall landscaping checklist.
Aerate The Lawn
If the rainfall flooded the grass, it is time you aerate the compressed soil and so that water and nutrients can reach the roots. You can use a garden fork if you have a small yard. For more extensive lawns, consider using a walk-behind aerator. The aerator pulls out two t0 three inch-deep soil plugs.
Feed Your Grass
Reducing fertilizer application in late summer prevents perennials from wasting energy on leaf production. However, grassroots will keep growing until the ground temperatures fall to around 40 degrees, making fall the best time to feed them.
Mow For The Last Time
Grass tends to have a slow growth rate in the fall. Lower the height of your lawn mower and cut the grass short for the last time. Diseases do not attack short grass. However, do not go too low since grass makes its food in the upper blade.
Rake the fallen leaves onto a tarp for easy transportation. Do not forget to collect leaves from the gutters. You can put the leaves in a compost pit the collected leaves and flip them once a week until next year with a garden fork to aerate. The resulting “black gold” can nourish your lawn or flowerbed.
Plant New Shrubs
Planting shrubs in early fall will give them a head start at developing their roots in the cold and moist soil. Dig a hole about 2 inches less the height of the root ball. Place the shrub into the hole and fill with soil. The top of the root ball should remain above ground. Water the shrub to settle the land and remember not to pack the soil down with your foot.
Trim Dead Limbs
Trim the dead branches on your trees. A winter storm can cause the branches to fall on your house. Cut also the cracked and loose branches close to the trunk. Leave the wounds exposed to heal.
Cut Back Perennials
A little work on your beds right now will result in healthier plants in spring. Remove the spent annuals and the snails that feed on them. Trim the spent perennials down to the ground. Trimming sends their energy to the roots in preparation for next season. Make sure that you divide crowded tuberous plants such as daylilies after every three years. Creating space will translate into more flowers.
Mulch Young Plants
Your new beds need a layer of mulch after a light frost but before the ground freezes. The mulch may include chopped leaves or wood chips. Till decomposed layers of organic mulch into the soil then apply a fresh coat to keep new plants warm and control erosion.
For those taking care of properties like apartments and schools, you can contact commercial lawn cares for experienced routine maintenance.