Halloween is just around the corner so that must mean your Idaho Falls landscaping work is done for the season right? Not so fast my friend. There is plenty that can be done to keep your property looking great and get it ready for the spring growing season.
If you are ready and willing to do the work yourself, keep reading for a checklist of stuff for you to do on your property. Or, if you prefer an Idaho Falls landscaping company, check out the services offered by Spring Falls Landscaping.
Here’s Your Checklist
This Old House offers the following recommendations for fall landscaping because moist soil is good for the development of strong roots. Plus, doing things like removing dead branches and spent stems is important for the overall health of your plants.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration helps the soil drain better and relieves compacted soil. This helps the water and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass. It is also a great way to combat thatch. Thatch is a dead layer of living and dead organic matter that occurs between green matter and the soil surface. Excessive thatch creates a good environment for pests, diseases, and poor growing conditions. You don’t want this! So what do you do? In a small yard, you can actually just use a fork to create holes in the ground. Or for a larger area, you could rent a walk-behind aerator that will pull out plugs that are a couple of inches deep.
Feed The Grass
The roots of your grass are going to keep growing until the ground is less than 40 degrees. This Old House recommends a high-phosphorus mix during the fall for increased root growth. This should help the turf to green earlier when the spring arrives.
Cut The Grass
Give your lawn one last mowing at about 1.25 inches. This short length of grass will make it more difficult for disease to infest in your yard. It also allows things like fallen leaves and debris to blow away without getting caught in your yard.
Take Advantage Of The Leaves
You may just want to get rid of your fallen leaves. However, there are some benefits that can come from keeping them on hand until spring. If you want to try this, rake them into a pile on a plastic tarp. You can also include any leaves that you are removing from your gutters. Add these leaves to your “compost bin”. This could be just a basic chicken-wire pen. Then you can flip your leaf pile over periodically. Once spring hits, use this material to help nourish your lawn, flower beds, and shrubs.
For many climates, planting shrubs in the fall can help them grow better in the spring because they will have had the chance to establish roots in the cool moist soil. Here is a quick how-to for planting your shrubs.
- Dig a hole that is about two times the diameter and a depth of about two inches less than the full height of the root ball.
- Place the shrub in the hole and make sure the top of the root ball is at ground level.
- Add soil until the ground is level.
- Add water to help the soil settle.
- Now, add more soil on the top of the root ball but do not pack it down.
- Add mulch.
Cut Dead Branches
Allowing dead branches to remain in your trees can become a problem. Many times, they won’t be able to withstand the wind or snow and break off. Big branches will probably require a professional landscaping crew. But you should be able to handle the small stuff on your own. Do a quick inspection and then remove the cracked, broken, and diseased limbs. Cut them close to the trunk and then leave the wounds exposed so they can heal.
Doing this work now should prove beneficial when the spring comes. Eliminate the old and tired annuals and any snails and slugs so they can’t breed in the fall. Trim the foliage of perennials down to the ground to send the energy to the roots that can be used in the spring.
Add a layer of mulch to any new beds. This could be chopped leaves, straw, or wood chips. Do this before the ground freezes. Till this mulch into the soil and add another 2-4 inches of mulch to help keep the new plants warm. This will also help control water runoff and soil erosion.
Water that is inside of any drip-irrigation tubes can freeze and crack those tubes. Make sure that you get the water out of those tubes. You can do this with an air compressor by inserting an air hose where your system usually attaches to the tap.
Congratulations! Now that you have completed your fall landscaping to-do list, you can sit back and relax until spring. That is unless you live in an area that gets a lot of snow during the winter. Then you will have a whole new job to do for the winter removing the snow from your sidewalk and driveway. Snow removal is another service that an Idaho Falls landscaping company can help you with.