It’s Fall again in Wisconsin! That wonderful moment in time between Summer and Winter that brings a mix of warm and cool days, vivid outdoor scenery, holiday decorations, pumpkin spice flavored drinks, and…more yardwork…yay!
While thinking about landscaping and yardwork during the Fall isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, it’s important to help prepare your yard for Winter and to give you a head start for a healthy lawn next Spring. Our Landscaping partner, Villani Landshapers, has created a Fall Landscaping Checklist with tasks to keep you focused on what’s important to do this season.
See the list below for more info:
Fall Fertilization & Weed Control Application
Late summer/early fall fertilization helps reduce stress the lawn has endured over summer. Weed control applied at the same time takes care of fall weeds that pop up.
A late fall/winterization fertilizer application will promote root growth, reduce winter injury, and promote early spring green-up. Your lawn should be fertilized at the point when the grass has stopped growing or has slowed to the point of not needing to be mowed, but don’t wait until the ground freezes.
Schedule Core Aeration And/Or Overseeding
Core aeration prepares the turf for winter and promotes healthy grown next spring. Aeration helps reduce normal compaction caused from use and even mowing a lawn. Core aeration is a simple, yet effective way to give the lawn’s root system the air pockets they need to grow and stay healthy. Other benefits include increased moisture penetration, improved penetration of fertilizers and other lawn products, and assists in the rate of thatch decomposition. Overseeding is often performed in conjunction with core aeration to fill in bare spots and help the lawn recover from summer.
In addition to raking up leaves to reduce possible insect and disease damage over winter, this is the perfect time to remove dead or unsafe branches and perform structural pruning to trees and shrubs. Other tasks include, cleaning the gutters of leaves and other debris for proper drainage. If you have a vegetable garden, make sure to til the whole plot after the final harvest, and add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.
When it’s time for your final mowing of the season, set the mower to the lowest height recommended for your grass to reduce the opportunities for disease to flourish over the winter since diseases have a harder time infecting shorter grass. This will also allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown during the winter.
Plant Trees & Shrubs
Fall season planting (September through mid-October) offers many advantages that may outweigh spring planting. Transpiration is low and root generation potential is high. The temperatures are typically moderate to cool, and are easier on the plants so there is less chance for the trees to be stressed by extreme heat. The fall moisture (rains) helps the trees and shrubs establish their root systems. When the air temperatures are cooler than the soil, new root growth is encouraged without new top growth. The result is a stronger, better developed root system for the next spring when the plant begins to grow.
Cut Back & Divide Perennials
Cutting back on the tired foliage of perennials sends energy production to the roots, resulting in a more-established plant next spring. This is also a good time to evaluate perennials and divide those that may be overgrown and crowded. However, this should be done early October so that the roots have a few weeks to re-establish roots before there is a hard frost (which is usually late October/early November).
Add Fall Color
Hardy mums are a great way to enhance your fall landscape prior to holiday decorating season. Hardy mums not only bring terrific color to the fall garden, but they also have a virtually pest-free personality. Few pests bother hardy mums as they strut their stuff in fall—or during the rest of the growing season, for that matter.
Plan Holiday Decor
Speaking of holiday decorating season, it’s right around the corner. Now is the ideal time to start planning holiday decorations for your home. There are so many ways to decorate your home in a tasteful and festive way for fall. Pumpkins, gourds, fall foliage, and pine cones are a handful of popular themes that can serve as inspiration. You can mix all of these elements together across your mantle or you can stagger them artfully down your front steps.
Plant Spring Bulbs
To ensure vibrant, early spring color in your landscaping, be sure to get your bulbs planted. Fall allows a “second season” of planting for spring blooming bulbs. Planting in the fall allows a jump-start to spring growth. The cool weather helps to make a more enjoyable experience for working outside in the garden and requires less watering. The cooler weather allows spring blooming bulbs to winter over, this is important in order for bulbs to provide beautiful spring cheerful blooms.
Plan & Get Started On Planned Hardscape Enhancements
There’s still plenty of time this season to start construction on landscape additions. It’s also a great time to meet with Designers from Villani Landshapers to begin planning next year’s priorities and get on the construction schedule for early in the spring.