Prepping Your Landscape for Fall

Fall is fast approaching and that means it’s time to get your landscape ready for cooler weather. And yes, that does mean the weekly lawn mowing is almost over! Still, you may be looking for landscaping ideas to ensure your landscape will endure the winter season and be ready when spring arrives next year.

This is the perfect time to prep your landscape for the next growing season. As temperatures cool, the above ground growth slows. The moister soil typical of this time of year encourages strong root development. Getting rid of dead branches, leaf cover and any other debris will have a positive effect on your landscapes overall health. These landscaping ideas can help you prepare your landscape for the colder seasons.

Rake the Leaves

When it comes to landscaping ideas for fall, this is a great one to start with. Getting rid of fallen leaves will allow your lawn to breathe. A thick layer of fallen leaves can impede the lawn’s growth, depriving the lawn of necessary sunlight.  It can be smothered if this thick layer is left on top of your lawn over the winter, causing other problems such as snow mold.

Using a mulching mower to shred the leaves is one way to solve the problem. The finely shredded leaves simply fall between the blades of your grass and serve as a natural fertilizer for your lawn. You can also use a bag attachment on your mower and empty the contents into a compost bin.

The Final Mowing

Everyone looks forward to crossing this weekly chore off their list until spring. For this final mowing, cut grass down to 1¼ inches. It is more difficult for disease to take hold and thrive when the grass is shorter. Be careful not to cut the grass too short as most of its nourishment is made in the upper blade.

Aerate the Lawn

When soil becomes compressed, it is difficult for water and nutrients to reach your lawn’s roots. Fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn, especially if you notice water puddling on your lawn after rainfall. With a small yard, a garden fork will do the trick. If you have a larger property, you may want to invest in a walk behind aerator.

Nourish the Lawn

After the summer’s heat and humidity, it’s a good time to fertilize your lawn. This will help grass regain its strength before winter. Grass roots continue to grow until the ground temperature reaches about 40 degrees. Fertilizing now also helps grass develop a thick and deep root system, so it can better survive next summer’s heat. A high-phosphorus mix fertilizer is typically best for lawns in fall to encourage root growth, so turf greens up earlier in spring.

Remove Dead Branches

Dead branches can become a danger to your home in winter winds and snow. They can also cause further damage to the tree itself. You can protect against this by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to, but not flush with, the trunk. Leave these wounds exposed, allowing them to heal. While you can easily do this yourself with smaller trees, it may be better to hire a professional to remove any large limbs that are diseased or dying.

Trim Back Perennials

Thinning out your flower beds is a great landscaping idea for the fall that will result in healthier beds in the spring. Remove wilting annuals along with the snails and slugs that feed on them, which breed in fall. Trimming withered perennial foliage down to the ground sends energy to the roots for next season. Late summer is the right time to cut back on fertilizing perennials as it keeps them from wasting energy on leaf production.

Mulch New Plants

Give new beds and plants a fresh layer of mulch after the first light frost but before the ground freezes. First, till decomposed layers of organic mulch into the soil. Then apply a new layer, 2 to 4 inches thick. Any more than that could smother the roots. This will keep new plantings warm and minimize water runoff and soil erosion.

One of the Best Landscaping Ideas

These are great basic landscaping idea for fall, but the change of seasons brings forth a lot of other tasks necessary to keep your home and landscape protected and ready for next spring. Not only can it be overwhelming, it can just plain be a lot of work. If you just don’t have time to do it properly or would simply rather spend your time doing other things, you might want to consider hiring a professional.

Dedicated to the safety, preservation, and beautification of your outdoor space, David Ash, Jr. Landscape Contractors are well-versed in the seasonal upkeep and preservation of Jersey Shore properties.

After surveying your landscape and discussing your maintenance needs, David and his team customize regular property management servicesperfect for your landscape and your lifestyle. Our recommended maintenance options take your property’s size, soil conditions, health and irrigation requirements into consideration. We also offer property management services that go beyond your just landscape.

Contact us today, get your landscape ready for fall and find how else we can help you care for your home inside and out!

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