As the days grow shorter and the temperatures start to drop, fall presents a crucial opportunity to prepare your yard for the upcoming winter and ensure it remains both healthy and visually appealing. Fall landscaping is not just about tidying up leaves– it’s about creating a solid foundation for the next growing season. Join our Raleigh landscape design professionals from Redwood Land Design as explore a range of fall landscaping tips to help you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful, lush lawn.
Fall Landscaping Checklist
When considering fall landscaping, the first step is to embark on a yard cleanup mission. Fallen leaves, dead plant material, and debris can accumulate quickly during the fall, making your yard appear messy and inviting pests. Raking leaves and removing debris or hiring a local lot cleanup service not only enhances the aesthetics but also promotes a healthier yard by reducing potential habitats for pests and diseases.
Additionally, cut back perennials and annuals that have reached the end of their growing season and prune overgrown shrubs and trees to maintain their shape and prevent storm damage. Don’t forget to clean out gutters to prevent clogs that could lead to water damage.
Lawn Care Fundamentals
A well-maintained lawn is the cornerstone of any beautiful yard. Start by aerating your lawn to allow nutrients and air to penetrate the soil. This step helps to reduce compaction and improves root growth. Consider seeding and overseeding to fill in thin areas and keep your lawn lush and healthy. Fertilizing in the fall provides essential nutrients for your grass as it prepares for the dormant winter months. Finally, control weeds effectively by removing them manually or using a selective herbicide.
Planting New Bulbs
While spring is often associated with planting, fall is an excellent time to introduce new fall plants to your landscape. Select fall flowers such as chrysanthemums and pansies to add vibrant colors to your yard. Plant bulbs now for spring blooms – daffodils, tulips, and crocuses will reward your efforts with bursts of color after the long winter. Transplant and divide perennials as needed, and apply a layer of mulch to protect plants from harsh winter conditions.
Tree and Shrub Care
Your trees and shrubs also require attention during the fall. Inspect them for signs of disease and pests, addressing any issues promptly. Properly watering trees and shrubs is essential to ensure they enter the winter season well-hydrated.
Applying winter protection, such as burlap wraps or tree guards, can safeguard your plants from heavy snow and ice. Pruning is another critical task; removing dead or damaged branches and shaping your plants will help maintain their health and aesthetics.
Choose Plants Carefully
You’ll want to think about the visual aspects of the plants you choose and how they will work within your overall outdoor aesthetic. Mixing colors, textures, and shapes of plants is a fun way to add intrigue to your backyard living space. Plus, you’ll want to choose at least some plants that will last through winter. In North Carolina, some common winter plants include:
- Viburnum – has attractive blue-colored berries that bloom through winter and can reach a height of 6’ to 8’ tall.
- Winter Jasmine – the yellow star-shaped flowers are quick to bloom in winter and this plant, when trained on a trellis, can grow up to 15’ tall.
- Sarcococca – also known as the sweet box shrub, blooms in mid- to late-winter and flowers with a sweet-smelling scent.
- Holly – the well-known and beloved dark green leaves and red berries make this a Christmas icon a much-needed staple for your yard.
- Pansies – if you plant these adorable flowers in the fall, they keep their blooms right through winter and into the late spring.
- Mums – look absolutely gorgeous in the fall and once planted, will come up again the following fall.
- Purple Aster – they bloom in an incredible array of colors and even varying shapes, starting in late summer and continuing into the fall.
- Black-eyed Susans – these hardy low-maintenance blossoms have golden petals with dark centers and are known for tolerating varying growing conditions.
- Goldenrod – has a tall stem with plumes of fluffy golden flowers that come in different shades of yellow.
Your yard’s hardscaping elements, including walkways and patios, require maintenance as well. For fall landscaping, inspect these surfaces for cracks or damage, as freezing temperatures can exacerbate existing issues. Clean and seal stone or brick surfaces to prevent deterioration and maintain their appearance.
Garden Bed Preparation
Preparing your garden beds for the winter is crucial to their success in the spring. Remove old annuals and weeds to prevent them from reseeding or causing disease issues. Add compost and organic matter to the soil to improve its fertility and structure. Use this time during the autumn months to plan for your spring planting, deciding which plants to introduce and where they should go. If you have delicate plants, consider installing protective covers to shield them from harsh winter conditions.
Watering and Irrigation
Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the changing weather patterns of fall. Plants typically require less water as temperatures cool, so be mindful not to overwater. Drain and store hoses properly to prevent freezing and damage. Inspect and winterize your irrigation drainage system if you have one, ensuring that it will function optimally when you need it in the spring.
Leaf Pickup and Compost
Leaf pickup is one of the most common fall landscape maintenance tasks. If you don’t have anywhere to dispose of them or are looking to make the cleanup a little less tedious, remember that leaves can be compostable. You would do well to save them up to use as mulch in your garden.
Contact Redwood Land Design Today for Expert Fall Landscaping Services
Ready to transform your yard into a stunning autumn oasis? Contact Redwood Land Design today. Our team of skilled landscape design professionals is ready to help you with everything from hardscapes and retaining walls to landscape design and drainage solutions.