Is Your Landscape Autumn Ready?
Do’s and Don’ts of Fall Landscaping
Spring gets all the glory for gardening, but fall is prime time to work on prettying up your landscape. In autumn, soil is warmer, easier to dig and less pummeled by all that rain we see in springtime. Other pros to getting outdoors to spruce up your space? Air temps are pleasant, late frosts are rare, and plants are often cheaper in the autumn.
Before you hit the nurseries and drag out the rakes, we’ve got some suggested “dos” and “don’ts” for fall landscaping:
DO get things in order first with a thorough clean up outside. Trim dead branches and cut off the spent foliage from your perennials. Remove annuals, roots and all. Pull out overgrown shrubs and trees, which can quickly crowd a home’s views and invite maintenance problems.
DON’T let the leaf situation get out of control. While they may provide a lovely fall backdrop to your yard, dead leaves can quickly overwhelm your lawn—and suffocate and kill your grass. Rake ‘em up!
DO consider creating compost to improve soil quality instead of tossing raked leaves in the garbage. Spread a layer of leaves over your garden beds—or purchase a mulching leaf vacuum/blower that turns leaves into a fine mulch, for a more refined look.
DON’T get stuck in a “mum rut.” While mums look great in fall garden beds, give your beds some added pizzazz and texture this season by adding cool-season vegetables and greens such as cabbages, rainbow chards, kales, and ornamental grasses.
DO plant evergreens and deciduous ornamental trees and shrubs, such as Japanese maples, weeping cherries, hardy boxwood, and Hinoki cypress.Fall’s cooler temps help reduce “transplant shock,” since the plants are in their winter dormancy period. Planting in the fall also gives these trees and shrubs a nice window to get established in your gardens.
DON’T forget to add potted plants in the fall, perfect for a pop of seasonal flair in nearly any outdoor space, from front walkway, to side porch, to back deck. For your fall containers, mums are always a no-brainer, but think out of the box with hardy succulents like echeveria, paired with pansies and violas. When it gets too chilly to keep planters outdoors? Repot them in an indoor container to enjoy inside throughout the winter.
DO some lawn repair this time of year by seeding your yard. Lawn root systems are the most active in their development in the fall, so it’s a great time to nourish your turf for a healthy spring look. Prior to seeding, cut your grass low, use a good starter fertilizer, and invest in the best seed you can afford. And remember, water!
DON’T forget to sweep your walkways, driveways, and sidewalks. Dead branches and leaves can be a safety hazard for kids walking to the bus stop and trick-or-treaters soon coming your way!
DO remember to schedule winterizing of your irrigation system. Winterizing involves blowing out the remaining water from every component of your irrigation system to prevent it from freezing, expanding, and potentially destroying your sprinkler system.
Need help to make the most out of your outdoor space this fall? Our team of creative and skilled professionals can help with all of your custom landscape design needs, including lighting, decks & patios, outdoor kitchens, walkways, landscaping, and more!