Three Fall Landscaping Tasks
A healthy spring landscape begins in the fall, when you’re faced with several important tasks to get the next season off on the right foot. Dig in during the coming weeks as you follow these tips for a healthy landscape in 2019!
A good fall cleanup will help prevent or at least lessen landscape problems next year. Try following these tips:
- Clear as much debris away as possible; many pests shelter in leaves and branches left behind from the previous season.
- Carefully remove leaves from plants that had disease or insect problems this year; leaves from healthy plants can be used as mulch or compost.
- Cut back perennials to ground level – alternatively, you can leave some up as landing perches for winter birds.
- Trim back ornamental grasses only if they become messy; most are hearty and will survive the winter.
- Remove dead, broken or diseased limbs and twigs from trees and shrubs, but leave large scale pruning for the late winter or early spring.
A layer of mulch performs many important functions for your lawn – insulating the soil against frigid temperatures, keeping roots moist, keeping weeds out, and preventing soil compaction, to name a few. Follow these mulching tips to promote a healthy landscape in 2019:
- Spread a three- to four-inch layer of mulch over the top of beds and borders. If your mulch is already that deep, try raking the mulch to turn over the brighter colored layer underneath the surface.
- Be careful to not pile mulch against the trunks of trees and shrubs; this can encourage disease and insect infestation.
- When mulching over perennials, reduce mulch to a two- to three-inch layer; avoid covering evergreen perennials whenever possible.
Fall is a great time for dividing and replanting perennials, while trees and shrubs can be purchased and planted throughout the fall and winter. Follow these fall planting tips:
- Plant winter annuals like pansies, violas, ornamental cabbages, and snapdragons through November.
- Spring blooming bulbs should be planted in November and December.
- Daffodils, Spanish bluebells, summer snowflake (Leucojum), and blue star (Ipheion) are all long lived and deer resistant varieties.
Remember to keep new plantings well-watered during their first several weeks as they establish their roots.
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