Winter weather, such as drying winds or ice and snow, don’t have to damage your evergreen shrubs and trees this year. You can get a head start on spring by giving your lawn its last fertilizer treatment for the year.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about eight Fall lawn and landscape maintenance chores that will protect your landscape investment over the cold winter months.
You’ll also learn how a professional landscape maintenance company can help get these jobs done, freeing up your weekends to enjoy the cool, crisp days of fall.
8 Fall Landscape Tasks to Complete Before Winter
There are eight lawn and landscape maintenance projects that need to be wrapped up by the time the ground freezes:
1. Fall Fertilizer – the last lawn treatment for the season: Turf experts say that fall is the best time of year to add nutrients to your lawn. These macro and micro nutrients help your lawn’s roots to grow down deep into the soil. These nutrients also provide food for the rest of the grass plant over the winter months so they are vibrant, strong and ready to start growing in the spring.
2. Shrub and tree deep root fertilization: Ornamental trees, shrubs and other woody stem plants do not go into dormancy until December. Between October and November their roots are growing and bringing up nutrients to nourish the plant over the winter. This is the perfect time to supply them with fertilizer. Specifically, trees and shrubs get the following benefits from deep root fertilization
- Nutrients to develop deep root systems
- Vibrancy to grow and fill out to their fullest potential
- Strong health to fight back against diseases and insects
- Strength to survive extreme drying conditions, such as heat stress and cold winter winds.
3. Gutter cleaning: To protect your home as well as your exteriors, you should clean your gutters twice a year. During the spring after the pollen has dropped and later in the fall when all the leaves are down; seed pods, twigs and leaves from trees as well as other debris build up in your roof gutter system. Then during rain or when snow and ice melt, your clogged gutters can’t get rid of the water. It will overflow onto the sides of your house causing roof, siding and other damage to both the interior and exterior of your home.
4. Tree and shrub planting: Just like turf grass, tree roots have time to anchor deep into the soil in the fall while the ground temperatures are warm and the air temperatures are cooler. It’s imperative, though, that you keep watering your newly planted shrubs and trees well into the fall. Your landscape technician will also apply mulch around your new plantings to protect them from drying out over the winter.
5. Anti-desiccant spray for evergreen trees and shrubs: Winter winds can be hard on evergreen trees and shrubs. Since the ground is frozen and thus moisture is unavailable, plants cannot get the water they need from the soil. Therefore, they draw liquids directly from their stems and leaves. This moisture loss, combined with dry winter winds, stresses the plants. It can even cause the evergreens’ leaves to dry up and fall to the ground.
To avoid damage to landscape plants and the loss of leaves, your landscape technician will apply an anti-desiccant spray over your evergreens. This process forms a waxy shield to hold in moisture, minimize plant stress and prevent leaf drop. This protective coating will gradually disappear by spring.
6. Fall yard clean up: To protect your lawn from snow mold and other winter fungus diseases, make sure all leaves, branches and other debris are removed from the turf and your lawn is cut short for the winter. Your lawn care company can place leaves at the street for pick up where many towns in Bergen County will pick them up. If not, your landscape company can vacuum the leaves up and dispose of them for you.
7. Mulching services: Your Bergen County landscape company can apply mulch to your landscaped beds around perennials, flower gardens and under trees and shrubs. Mulch does so much more than just provide a finishing touch. It protects the root systems of herbaceous as well as woody stem plants from freeze/thaw cycles. It also minimizes weed competition in the spring and adds nutrients to the soil as it degrades.
8. Fall bulb planting: Fall is the right time to get those bulbs into the ground for next spring and summer color. Plant your favorites such as allium, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, gladiolus, grape hyacinths, snowdrops and some lily varieties. Be careful to plant only bulbs that deer and rabbits do not care for!
Fall is a wonderful time to wrap up your lawn and landscape projects—from landscape plantings, to fertilization, to mulching. Some people call it “putting your lawn and landscape to bed for the winter.”
If you need help with any of these fall outdoor projects, call us at Horizon Landscape, 201-848-0022 or fill out our contact form.
“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”