Landscaping duties do not end when the leaves start to turn. This beginners guide to landscaping will help you get your landscaping ready for the long winter’s nap, and be ready to restart in the spring. What you do now with your landscaping can help you to have great outdoor areas next year.
This beginners guide to landscaping in the fall will take you through all the steps that you need to take to keep your landscaping healthy year-round. You are a few easy steps away from hanging up your garden gloves and shovel for the season.
Fall is a Great Time to Do These Things In the Yard
Landscaping is a year-round activity that can add about 14% of value to your home. A lot of novices ignore the landscaping once the flowers start dying back but there is still so much to do. Fall is a great time for things like tree maintenance, planting trees, pruning trees, and removing dangerous limbs.
Experts recommend that tree maintenance is done when the trees start to go dormant. Managing your trees in the autumn will ensure that they are healthy and vibrant in the spring. Here are some things you should be doing for your trees in the fall:
- Fertilize trees to prepare the roots for the winter.
- Remove dead leaves from around the base of the tree. Leaves can cause fungus, and an overgrowth of bacteria to develop that can harm the tree. Dead leaves can also cause root rot and damage to the base of the tree.
- Plant new trees in the fall. The cooler weather is a great time to plant trees. It is less likely that a young tree will succumb to drought conditions or scorching from the heat of the sun in the fall.
This is also a good time to take a look around at your landscaping to determine if you need to remove anything that did not make it through the summer months. Shrub removal, tree removal, and other landscape plants that need to come out of the ground should come out now.
Tidying everything up and removing the plants that did not do well, will give you a fresh slate for next spring. Fall is also a good time to mulch around tender plants to help them make it through the winter.
Landscape Upgrades and Repairs
The fall is a great time to do things around your outdoor spaces that may not be possible during the spring and summer. For example, fencing that is covered by vegetation may not be accessible during the spring and summer but is readily accessible in the fall.
Evaluate your landscape for structures that need to be repaired and other components that may have been covered with growth during the warmer months. Check rose arbors, trellises, and other support structures for any damage or wear. Fixing these items during the fall will ensure that your structures are in good condition for the growing season.
It is also a good time of year to check on your landscape lighting and replace any bulbs that have burned out. It is amazing what you will notice about your landscaping now that some of the growth has died back.
Landscaping and Managing Fall Plants
If you want to add some fall colors to your garden, garden mums are a great option. In many zones, these annuals will come back year after year if you plant them right. Mums come in a range of fall colors, are easy to care for, and add that dash of color that you will love.
Another great fall plant is the ornamental cabbage plants. The colder it gets the more vibrant the leaves become. They add lovely blues and purples to your garden. Combining these two plants in a container or right in the garden will add just the touch of color that you need.
Setting up a lovely fall display in your front yard to make your landscaping pop is as easy as planting these hardy plants. Mums should be planted when their buds are tight to get the long-lasting blooms you want for your landscaping. You should pinch back, or deadhead, the plant as the blooms die off. Pinching back the dead flowers will give the plant the energy it needs to bloom again and again.
At the end of the growing season, you can cut the plants all the way back to the bottom of the stems which will allow them to winter over and get ready for the spring. Covering them with mulch is also a step you can take to help these plants to overwinter. With a little care, your mums will bloom again next year.
Landscaping and Lawn Care in the Fall
The end of the summer does not mean the end of your lawn care duties. This beginners guide to landscaping would not be complete if we did not address fall lawn care.
There are a few things that you can do in the fall that will help your lawn to overwinter and be lush and green in the spring:
- Remove dead leaves. While autumn leaves look beautiful, they are not very nice to your lawn. Leaves block the sunlight from getting to your lawn. If you don’t remove the leaves, they will become a soggy mess of decaying matter, and the grass underneath will die.
- Don’t stop watering your lawn. According to the experts that provide landscaping services, people tend to stop watering their lawns in the fall. Your lawn still needs water up until the first hard frost.
- Fertilize and overseed now. Aerating the soil, adding some seed, and fertilizing are all fall lawn activities that help you get that lush green lawn in the spring.
Another thing that homeowners let up on in the fall is pest control for their lawn. The fact is while most pests are less active in the fall, they are still able to cause damage to your lawn. Stay on course with your pest control year-round.
Don’t make the mistake that many people make when it comes to overseeding their lawn. You cannot simply spread seed and hope it takes. You have to aerate and ensure that the seed will come in contact with the soil. Then you have to water it enough to ensure that the seed germinates.
A well cared for lawn will survive and stay green until the first hard killing frost. Watering your lawn, fertilizing your lawn, and aerating it will ensure that you get as much life as possible out of your lawn. Just because the summer is over does not mean your lawn dies back. Stay the course and keep working through the fall and you will realize the reward of a great lawn next year.
Yard Cleanup and Storage Time
You do not want to leave all that cute custom home decor that you bought for your outside spaces in the elements. Fall is the time to pack it all up and put it all away for the winter. Set aside a few hours dedicate time to packing it all up and stashing it in the garage or the shed. You will be glad you did in the spring when you do not have to rebuy everything over again.
You can purchase outdoor furniture covers, grill covers, and other covers to protect items that are just too big to store. While it may seem that packing away outdoor furnishings and décor should not be a part of the beginners guide to landscaping, those items are an important part of your outdoor lifestyle and ultimately your landscaping.
All of that yard art and ornamental pieces that you have around your landscaping will fair a lot better if you take it in during the winter months. It may seem like a bother to deal with moving around things that are meant to be outdoors, but even the hardiest pieces typically do not tolerate the freezing temperatures well. If you love it move it indoors.
Beginners Guide to Landscaping and Landscape Building In the Fall
It is important to take things down and dismantle them, but the fall can also be a great time to construct a few things that you have been meaning to get around to. For example, that retaining wall that you need for the edge of your property that will keep out some of the neighbors run off, or that dog house you have been thinking about building. The temperatures are cooler making it a lot more comfortable to get those small construction projects out of the way before the spring makes it way back around.
Dog house construction, constructing a retaining wall, even putting in that raised garden bed, is a lot easier in the cooler fall months. You may not use any of it right away, but it will check those spring projects off your list now.
Another reason that fall is a great time to consider installing new landscape structures is that it is easier to get around your landscaping in the fall. You will not have to worry about disturbing plants, and other vegetation to get in all the areas you need to get into.
Here are some easy fall landscape construction projects:
- New garden trellises and other support structures. If you noticed some of your plants needing some support this year, it is a good time to install some trellises so they will have the support that they need next year. It is easier to navigate behind plants this time of year.
- Install walkways, patios, and other hardscape areas in the fall.
- Arbors and other structures.
Think of the fall landscape as almost a blank page. You can easily see the spaces where a little landscape construction is needed. The fall allows you to get to spaces that were once full of plants without having to worry about disrupting the plants.
Take Advantage of Clearance Sales
Every retail outlet from the big box discount stores to your local nursery is having clearance sales right now. You can buy all the lawn chemicals, landscaping tools, and other supplies that you will need for the spring now and realize some substantial savings.
One of the best tips in a beginners guide to landscaping is to take advantage of the sales and stock up on supplies. You can buy wood pallets now for that raised garden bed at substantial savings, soil for the garden, tools, you name it, you will find it on the clearance rack.
Of course, there are some things you do not want to buy on clearance. Anything that can spoil while sitting in the garden shed should not be purchased unless you plan on using it right away. Seeds are also something you should be careful about buying on clearance. Most seed packets will come with an expiration date stamped on the seal. Check the packet for the expiration date before you buy.
Look for landscape ties, lawn edging, and tools on sale. If you have the space to store these items, you can save, and be well prepared for the spring.
Beginners Guide to Landscaping and the Preserving Plants
We all have tender plants in our garden that we love and want to do our best to preserve. Some plants in landscaping can easily overwinter because they are built for it, other plants, do not do so well.
What can you do to improve the odds that some of those less than hardy plants will make it through the winter? Here are a few things you should do to help protect your plants:
- Use mulch and plenty of it. Mulch can act as a blanket for tender plants. Pile the mulch on plants that do not tolerate the cold well or that are young plants.
- Take plants in that are in containers. Container plants look great in landscaping displays but they need to be brought in during the cold months.
- If you are in doubt consider cutting or two. If you have plants in your landscape that you love like Coleus and you do not think they will make it, take cuttings to put them in a vase with water and let them root. In the spring you can replant the cuttings.
Fall does not mean the end of landscaping, it means a different set of duties. This beginners guide to landscaping should give you a good start to figuring out how to continue to do what you enjoy outdoors, and help your landscaping to make it through the winter.