As temperatures cool, and the days become shorter, we welcome the return of school, football, and all things pumpkin spice. We pull out sweaters, stack wood for the fireplace, and plan for the holidays. Just like us, our landscape is preparing for the transition to cooler weather. There are both natural processes and active steps we can take to help plants and greenery survive through the winter. It may be newly fall, but winter is right around the corner making it the perfect time to start the winterization process.
How Plants Prepare
We’ve all seen the beauty of fall colors – trees changing from summer green to beautiful and rich shades of red, orange, and yellow. We see annuals, perennials, and other plants slowly loses their blooms and leaves. It may seem sudden, but our landscape has been preparing all summer for this specific process. Through the growing season plants and trees have meticulously stored extra water and nutrients, creating stores of food to live off during the winter. As the season changes, food production slows down and the plants begin to shed their green leaves and bright blooms to prepare for hibernation. To the naked eye it may appear as though your lawn, plants, and trees are “dead”; however, the root systems, bark, and seeds are very much alive and waiting for the first signs of spring to begin their growth process all over again.
How We Can Help
Although plants have their own natural process to prepare for winter, there are proactive steps we can take to ensure beautiful blooms and lush greenery come spring. The trick is to begin early in the fall for the best outcomes.
For the lawn: Now is the time for aeration and overseeding. Aeration is the process of removing small cores of compacted soil and grass to increase water and nutrient flow to your lawn’s root system. The extra space also allows roots to grow further into the ground creating stronger roots and healthier grass. Aeration pairs perfectly with overseeding to create hardier lawns year-round. By filling in bare spots with a variety of resilient grass types, lawns are less susceptible disease and stay greener longer. Since healthy landscapes start from the ground up, take advantage of the cooler weather to add a soil conditioner. Soil conditioner will increase the vibrancy of your lawn while reducing brown spots. Finally, to ensure good growth in the spring, continue to maintain your regular lawn maintenance until first frost, and plan for fall fertilization and weed control. Spraying now for fall weeds is more effective in controlling their growth than during summer months.
For trees and plants: Much like your lawn maintenance, keeping to your pruning and trimming schedule will help plants and trees flourish the following spring. By pruning back shrubs and trees during their dormant season, you reduce the risk of devastating disease and reduce the risk of broken and damaged limbs that can be weighed down with snow and ice. Plan to fertilize trees and shrubs during this time as well. Fall fertilization increases soil productivity, giving tress and shrubs a nutrient boost as they push through their last growth before winter. This is also a great time to plant new trees and shrubs. The cool air and warm soil create a welcoming environment for bulbs and seedlings. Plants should go into the ground no later than the end of October for maximum effectiveness. As nights get closer to freezing temperatures, laying a fresh layer of mulch or hay on flowerbeds will help to protect more delicate plants from hard freezes.
By properly preparing your lawn and landscape for the winter you set the stage for gorgeous spring growth. As part of our Plant Health Care Program and regular services, Country Club Landscaping is happy to help all our customers take full advantage of the fall. We have the timeline down to a science resulting in plush lawns and beautiful landscapes. Call today to learn more!