As the days grow shorter and the weather a little crisper, we can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labors! From beets, brussels sprouts, and beans to collards, kohlrabi, and cauliflower, home gardens are delivering one final feast. Whether we’re busy harvesting, raking colorful autumn leaves, or taking the mower out for another spin or two before winter, now’s the perfect time to start preparing for spring and summer. Fall landscaping gets your yard and property in shape to look – and perform – its best next year. So, what can you do before the snow flurries arrive?
More than Mums: Fall Landscaping for Beautiful Results
For many of us, “fall landscaping” means tidying up and maybe putting out a few pots of mums! We love mums – but there is so much we can do to keep our home landscapes healthy and ensure they are ready for a great, green season next year. Autumn is a great opportunity for:
- New Planting
Ready to kick your fall landscaping into high gear? Let’s see what is involved in each project so you know what you’re getting into.
Grading smooths the surface of your lawn and can change the slope as well. This is helpful when you are trying to prepare a spot for building, install a garden or play structure, or divert rainwater away from your foundation, for example. Grading can also revitalize a lawn that has been damaged by utility work, tree removal, animal activity, and normal wear and tear.
This is not a DIY project; grading requires heavy-duty equipment, as well as expertise in calculating slopes, analyzing soil composition and vegetation, installing retaining walls/terraces (if required), and more.
If you want to establish a new lawn or rehab your existing yard, seeding is an excellent route to take. Fall is prime time to plant cool season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, or ryegrass. They thrive in the cooler conditions, and you mitigate another issue: lawn traffic. Seeded lawns need time to grow roots, and you need to stay off of it. This is much easier to do this time of year than in the spring and summer.
For optimal plant health, you need to prepare your soil. Most Indiana soils are nutrient deficient so adding soil amendments will be very beneficial. Amendments like compost and biochar have proven to be helpful in enriching the soil. Then you rough up the top couple of inches of soil and remove all unwanted debris (e.g., rocks, roots). If you have killed an existing lawn for renovating, it is ok to leave some of the dead plant material to allow it to break down and return to the soil. Natural organic matter like dead grass can also be beneficial in improving the soil structure. You’ll need to be vigilant about watering – while being careful to avoid overwatering if the weather is trending towards rainy.
If you want a beautiful lawn now, sodding is the way to go. Your results will be just about immediate. The fallback is that sodding is a labor-intensive process. Ripping up existing sod, removing debris, adding soil amendments, and meticulously laying the new sod is hard work.
You also want to be very careful about the grass you select. Generally, there are fewer options available than with seed, so be sure you’re getting a cool season grass that will thrive on your property.
Green Image can do the heavy lifting here, from selecting sod to preparing the area to maintaining your new or refreshed surface.
Extend your growing season into the fall. For some plants, this is an ideal time as the cooler weather means they won’t be stressed from the heat, and pests are far less active. At the same time, the soil is still warm (and typically getting more rain) so roots can grow strong and healthy.
What can you plant in fall? Well… a lot! Try:
- Spring-blooming bulbs. You won’t get to enjoy them for a few months, but it’s a treat to see your lawn waking up after winter and blooming with color. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, irises, allium, and crocuses are all excellent choices.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic tastes better, and you can use it in just about everything! Plant in mid-autumn, and they’ll be ready to harvest by late spring/early summer.
- Cool season vegetables. You can get one more harvest in if you plant spinach, leaf lettuce, arugula, and mustard greens.
- Hardy annuals. Some flowers thrive in fall and don’t mind frost. Violas, snapdragon, sweet alyssum, cornflowers, and ornamental kale and cabbage are both beautiful and hardy.
- Trees and shrubs. Many trees can be successfully planted in fall, including linden, maple, sycamore, spruce, pines, ash, and crabapple.
Some new plants are vulnerable to frost, so watch the weather report! The GreenImage team can advise you on the best choices, the best times to plant, and proper care – and then get them in the ground for you.
Keep Up the Good Work! The Importance of Landscape Maintenance
Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Regular maintenance is essential in maximizing the benefits of your fall landscaping projects. It’s not like painting a wall or building a shelf. When you’re done, you’re not really done! Those newly graded, seeded, sodded, or planted areas need to be tended and watered on a regular schedule to survive the winter and thrive in every season to come.
You’re busy, and we want you to enjoy autumn’s unique beauty. Trust GreenImage to take over your fall landscaping projects and maintenance needs so you can marvel at the foliage, breathe in the crisp, fresh air, and savor that pumpkin spice latte!
Contact GreenImage and let us get your fall to-do list done.