Fall landscaping is all about protecting the investment of time and money during the warm months. The first step is the lawn. Even when it’s cold, grass can continue to grow for a time, and it is important to keep cutting it until it ceases growing. When grass blades grow too long, they have a side effect of shading the blades around them. When snow falls, grass that is too long gets packed down and this promotes snow mold. The optimal rule of thumb is to keep grass at about three inches in height year-round.
Test the Soil
While fall landscaping is a good time to sprinkle grass seed in problem areas, there is a critical first step, which is to test the soil, determining its pH and nutrient availability. If deficiencies are not corrected, spreading grass seed is a waste of seed, time, and money. A soil sample can be tested for under twenty dollars, which helps determine how best to handle landscaping.
If you already have mulch, turn it. Fluffing up mulch gives a fresh look to flowerbeds and eliminates, or at least cuts down on, the need for fresh mulch. If you need to add some, keep the piles between two and three inches in thickness. When no mulch is present, this is the perfect time to add it. Fall mulching is superior to spring mulching for the benefit of plants. It aids in protecting roots from frost as well as helping to retain moisture during the dry and cold months.
Take Out the Dead
Pruning is a spring activity, as it encourages growth, but fall is the perfect time to enhance landscaping by removing the dead and dying. Take out dead annuals, cut back desiccated and dead perennials and ornamental grasses, remove spent blooms, and lightly prune dying and dead branches from trees and shrubs.
Delicate shrubs need to be wrapped in burlap to protect them from ice, heavy snow, and high winds that can split and dry out the pricey plants. Small plants can be hidden under overturned buckets or plastic pots. Vulnerable trees can be surrounded with shredded leaves.
Fall is a great time for landscaping. It protects the investment of the warmer months for the bitterly harmful months ahead. It removes unsightly elements and creates a more pleasant atmosphere when the temperature drops and the snow falls. Before the ground freezes is ideal to take advantage of fall sales and purchase trees and shrubs to plant. Fall landscaping is a breeze that protects from the cold weather of winter.