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Important yard prep for fall

As we all know, each season brings lots of changes; temperature extremes, weather patterns like rain, snow, and changes of the winds, to name a few. We humans feel it, but so do the plants the surround us. Each season can be idea to plant, harvest and to trim/prune certain plants. Here at Sweetgrass 512 landscaping & tree services, we are mindful of these changes and of what your yard/garden/land needs during each time of year. With autumn here, there are a few services we recommend you do while the temperatures are dropping and the plants get ready for less growth and activity of the coming winter:

1. Clean up It is a good idea to do a thorough clearing of debris from entire space, including gutters. Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Clear the vegetable garden and add compost After last harvest of your veggies, pull out old vegetable plants and dead branches; remove debris. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim those tree and bushes Trim up dead, damaged, or diseased tree and bush branches. now is the time to trim and prune tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling as the temperatures drop, which is a common time for this to happen as plants go into a sort of hibernation and are less robust.

4. Clean out the gutters If your house has gutters, you'll want to make sure they are draining properly and clear out any blockages with a small trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry it out If it freezes in your area, you will want to make sure to drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate soil Break up soil to ensure that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator.

7. Fertilize the lawn Provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs to thrive during the long, cold sleep. We recommend you use a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and to make sure you have a lush, green lawn when the spring comes around again.

8. Rake and mulch When fallen leaves are left on the ground, they can suffocate the grass. Rake them, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. If there aren't too many leaves, you can mow them as a shortcut to mulching.

9. Mow Set your mower to a lower height setting and give the lawn a close trim before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

10. Divide and cut back perennials If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now—wait and divide them in the spring.

11. Protect plants that are sensitive to the cold Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in good shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

12. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals Some plants do best when planted in the fall. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

13. Protect your deck and other wood surfaces Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash using a pressure washer. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

14. Clean tools and store them Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed to forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.

We hope that these tips will help you in your fall lawn care and prep. There is a lot to do to really prepare for winter. As always, please contact us here at Sweetgrass 512 Landscaping & Tree Services if we can help you with the process of getting your space in tip top shape this fall.


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