Don’t let fall be the season of forgotten care for your lawn and landscaping maintenance. As summer comes to an end, many make the mistake of dropping their outdoor duties, not realizing that their home still needs maintenance in order to thrive in the spring.
Some smaller garden, lawn, and landscaping tasks can definitely be pulled off on your own on a weekend. Things like pulling your weeds so you have less in the spring is a productive smaller task to tackle. But to truly make your property sparkle and your time more valuable, a landscaping company should be brought in to elevate and ease your duties.
Here are our ten recommendations on how to utilize a landscaping company to help you with your fall maintenance.
1) Rake Debris
While the beauty of the fall leaves changing on your lawn might be a tempting sight to try and hold on to, we recommend you get some professional raking underway. The fallen leaves and mulch need to be removed to avoid damaging the grass underneath. If you leave your leaves to freeze, they will also thaw, damaging the water quality of your lawn.
Because dead leaves and grass plants release phosphates, it is best to compost them so that they don’t end up in surface water in the spring.
Most homeowners don’t rake their yard properly, resulting in more laborious tasks over the seasons and less time for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Landscapers can make this a much less painful process for the yard owner by using their honed techniques to get the job done right and in an environmentally responsible manner.
2) Give the Lawn some Fall Landscaping Maintenance TLC
While many property owners fawn over their lawn in the summer, they often drop the ball too early in the fall.
The lawnmower should be kept on until the winter. Regular cuts need to happen until it’s cold. Grass that is too long is susceptible to fungi like snow mold. Grass that is too short stunts the ability for the root to fully flourish. A landscaper can keep your grass at its optimum length, around 2½ to 3 inches in height.
It is also important to keep up with watering the lawn all the way through October, particularly if it is a dry autumn. Your landscaping company can help you loosen the soil, or better known as, aeration.
This process needs to happen every few years and it ensures your soil isn’t over-packed and layered with thick debris that blocks water from reaching it. This is a step that should be taken right before fertilization as the holes in the turf create pockets for the nutrients to enter.
Fall is the best time to add fertilizer to the lawn as it provides plant sugars to the grass and helps protect the roots from freezing. Fertilizing in the fall can make for a luscious lawn in the Spring.
Finally, seeds should be spread during this season. Landscape professionals will overseed your turf, which helps fill in any patchy areas on the lawn. The fall ground is the optimal temperature and moisture level for seeding but this can be a difficult task for the average person. Landscapers are able to keep an eye on how well the seeds are contacting the soil, if they’re germinating and how quickly, as germination needs to occur before it gets too cold. Because all of these steps need to happen at just the right time, it is best to bring in someone to service your lawn.
The perfect lawn requires intimate care and with the professional aid of a landscaper, the seeds that are planted in the fall could result in your best ever summer yard.
3) Care for your Plants
Fall is the perfect time to give your trees, shrubs, and outdoor plants a very deep watering after they lose their leaves. It’s also a good time to prune everything and to mulch and water conifers.
Perennials should be cut close to the ground. Plants that are diseased or may have pest issues should be cut back to reduce the chance of infection in the following season. Plants that are dead, browning, or blackened should be cut back. There are some perennials to keep through the fall and winter, which may provide food for birds or help friendly insects in the winter.
Early fall is an opportune moment to plant more. Because the soil is still warm, plants can cozy right in and be surrounded by a healthy amount of precipitation. Aside from perennials, ferns, lilies, tulips, etc. can actually thrive in the fall. It is best to consult with your landscaper on the most productive regime for your plants.
4) Spray for Pests
The peskiest of pets can survive cooler temperatures. Ants, in particular, try to find a piece of solid foundation to nest under. A professional can help spray and protect your yard from sabotage. Weakened trees should be investigated for the presence of any borers.
5) Start that Outdoor Construction Project
The cooler fall temperatures make it easier to work on outdoor construction projects. From a mental perspective, construction is not upsetting any summer backyard celebrations when work is being done in the fall. In fact, the summer can be used for the planning portion, the fall can be used for the execution, and in the spring, your outdoor project is ready for your enjoyment.
Overall, outdoor overhauls are less stressful in the fall when landscaping maintenance contractors have a less hectic schedule and can focus more on your vision.
6) Holiday Decorating
Landscape contractors make excellent designers. They can execute your hanging light vision, or help you design it and install it. If you are a house on the block that likes to stand out, bringing in a professional touch can elevate the look of your home.
Lights can also be used in a more subdued way. Landscaping companies can help build path lights for little pathways carved out on the lawn or can help with generic mood lighting, around the property.
7) Winterizing your Irrigation
Your lawn sprinkler system needs to be prepared for the cold. Usually, landscape companies will drain, blow out, and test for leaks as part of the winterization process, and will make repairs if necessary. This is a vital step to the upkeep of your yard and is not recommended to try on your own if you’re inexperienced. Without properly preparing your water systems for winter, your pipes will break.
It’s also important to focus on the hardscaping of your home. If you have rocks in your driveway, you’ll want to talk to your landscaper about how to preserve them when the snow falls so that you’re not removing them.
Fall is an excellent time to build stone walkways to your home so that they can be easily shoveled when it rains or snows.
Lastly, fall is the perfect opportunity to create a fire pit if you’re craving the outdoors. With a stone fire pit, you can keep your social activities outside into the cold months.
Contrary to popular belief, early fall is the best time to paint or stain the exterior of your home. While most people endeavour complete this in the summer, it turns out that if it’s too hot outside, the paint coating will dry too quickly, leaving behind imperfect brush stains.
According to Dulux paint, the best time to finish painting is before mid-afternoon on an early fall day, this will allow for the paint to have ample time to dry.
10) General Cleaning
This is the time to unclog your gutters so that they’re not worse off in the spring. It’s also time to clean out the lawnmower, weed whacker, and anything else you use to maintain your yard so that it’s easily accessible come springtime. Powerwashing your outdoor space can be the final touch on your fall landscape project, leaving your property looking in pristine condition.
Wrapping it Up
To summarize, fall landscaping maintenance is crucial for the well-being of your outdoor home. With the help of a landscaping professional, you can turn your focus to the cleanup and lulling of your yard. This is a time to ensure that the sanitation of your grass and plants is optimized by removing dead leaves from the ground, cutting down perennials, and keeping insects at bay.
This is also a great season to look ahead and plan for the following year. While landscaping companies slow down with the cooler weather, they are able to devote more time to planning projects with you, creating a more stable and realistic schedule. There might even be potential pricing benefits through this approach.
If you are based in the Greater Vancouver Area, Hyland Landscapes, is available to builders and designers, homeowners, and property managers, to help close out the fall season and start planning ahead.