Fall is the time when many homeowners look to landscaping cleanup by trimming back overgrowth produced in the summer and removing annuals and other plants that won’t last through the winter. The cooler months are ideal for much more than removing spent stems and dead branches or placing covers on fragile plants and bushes to help them make it past sub-zero temperatures.
You or your landscape contractor should perform essential maintenance in the fall to prepare for growth next spring. In the cooler months topside growth slows down, but it’s prime time for roots to develop. One of the top lawn care tips is to aerate your lawn so that water and nutrients can reach the roots. An aerator will pull out soil plus up to 3 inches long that will break down by spring. don’t forget to feed your grass too. Although cutting back on fertilizer in late summer prevents perennials from producing unnecessary leaves, grass roots keep growing until the ground temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a high-phosphorus (12-25-12) fertilizer to encourage roots, so turf greens earlier in spring.
Don’t waste fallen leaves. Instead of putting them in a bag by the curb, rake them into a tarp and put them into a compost bin. The mixture can help feed shrubs, flowers and vegetables the following year.
Remember those half dead bushes in your backyard? Pull them out and replace them with something new. Fall is a good time to add new shrubs and trees because roots will get a head start in the season’s cool, moist soil.
Speaking of dead or dying branches, if a shrub or tree is healthy for the most part, fall is the ideal time to trim those. Remove cracked, loose and diseased limbs, especially those that are close to your home. for large jobs, bring in a professional to do the work.
Flowers need lots of care as work now will result in healthier spring beds. Clear the ground of spent annuals and the snails and slugs that feed on them. Trim perennial foliage to the ground to send energy to the roots for next season. Every three years, divide tuberous plants such as irises and daylilies.