Summer has ended and with it, it took the long warm days that many plants need to grow. Fall can still be a great time to enjoy your landscape as you can sit back and watch the leaves change color to reds and oranges.
Just because plants tend to grow less during autumn, it doesn’t mean there is no work to be done. Today we’ll go through a few tips you should follow in order to keep your landscape looking beautiful even with the changing seasons.
Last Cut of the Year
Lawns tend to be one of the largest elements of any landscaping project, you should mow your lawn until it stops growing. During fall many drought tolerant lawns begin to go into dormancy and turn brown. If this is your first year experiencing this do not be frightened, this is normal. Cut your lawn short to prevent it from matting and being damaged by pests or diseases.
If your lawn continues to grow throughout the year, consider keeping the grass a minimum of 3 inches tall so that it can better absorb sunlight.
Amend your Soil
Fall is the best time to amend your soil, as microfauna begin to break down your soil in both fall and winter. This organic matter then becomes available as a nutrient for plants to thrive in during spring. If you miss this opportunity, you can still amend your soil in spring though it’s best done during the fall.
Aerating your soil is season dependent. If your soil is compacted, fall is the best time to have it aerated professionally. This will allow hard soil to more easily absorb rain water, compost and other fertilizers you may be amending your soil with.
If you are unsure with what to amend your soil, fall is a great time to get your soil tested. This test can determine what specific nutrients you need to grow your plants.
Check on your Mulch
During autumn, mulch will provide insulation and warmth to plant roots. Mulch allows for microorganisms to stay active longer in the colder seasons, and retains water better. This can allow your soil to retain its nutrients for longer.
For garden and flower beds that already have mulch, simply turning the mulch should be enough to provide its benefits during the fall. It will also give your garden and flower beds a fresh look without adding more mulch. Though you should replenish mulch every 3 to 5 years or whenever the layer of mulch is less than 2 inches thick.
Maintain your Hardscape
Pathways, fountains, rock and stones are best maintained during the fall. In the fall temperatures are more consistent throughout the day. Using sealant to fill in cracks and gaps may take a little bit longer to cure during cooler days, but you are less likely to see a failure point compared to summer days.
Don’t forget that during the fall, your hardscape becomes more visible as leaves begin to pile on the ground. Keep up appearances by raking leaves from your landscape, fallen leaves can be unsightly. When wet, leaves can be incredibly slippery and cause an accident that can result in injury.
For the Bird Lovers
If you’re a lover of birds, autumn is the best season to set up bird feeders. Many migratory birds will migrate to Southern California during the colder seasons. With some luck you may spot some rare birds in your own backyard.
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