While Spring is the season that most people think about updating their yards, Fall is often an even better time for these outdoor enhancements. There are several upsides to maintaining, installing, and renovating during this cooler weather. Whether you are planting, pruning, renovating your lawn or adding irrigation, there are many reasons why autumn is a prime season for landscape projects.
Plants, Shrubs & Trees
Autumn is a particularly good time to plant. With lots of sunshine but cooler temperatures and increased moisture, it’s likely you’ll be using less water for your plants. Additionally in the absence of scorching temps and summer critters, your plants are less susceptible to shock and more prone to thrive overall. Plants taking root in the Fall are often preparing themselves to bloom by Spring; this makes for a solid foundation (or root system) from which your plant will thrive with plenty of time to grow before the hot, drier weather of the following summer.
Few people realize is that autumn is when lawn root systems are the most active in their growth and development. Similar to plants, shrubs and trees, fall is also a good time to maintain, renovate or replace turf. September, October, and November are great months to prepare your lawn for the harsh elements of the upcoming winter. Your lawn can be further strengthened for winter with proper winterization such as frequent raking, fertilization, aerating, thatching and over-seeding.
Irrigation & Drainage
Fall months are a terrific indicator of the state of your irrigation system, a great time to identify potential problem areas for winter drainage. Soil can become dry and compacted over the dry, hot summer months, but increased rain of Fall will reveal problem areas where water is pooling. At the very least your irrigation will need proper winterization in preparation for the cold winter months ahead.
In addition to enhancements, there are other key landscape maintenance items that need to be made a priority in the fall to be properly prepared for winter. Fall is also the time that the majority of shrubs and trees should be pruned as their growth period is ending and they are entering into dormancy. Though most plants can be found on the verge of dormancy now, remember to feed your deciduous plants who will need the energy for preservation through Winter. This dormant period lends itself to treatment of most insect and pest controls, as well as any weeding that may need to take place.
In short, Fall is a time for “pruning” of both our lives and our land. The time of reflection not only helps us to prepare for the Winter months, but leaves us with a wonderful opportunity to birth new projects that we may have missed thought the Summer months. When it comes to landscaping in the Fall, the best practice is really: “don’t wait!”.