Summer is long gone, and winter is around the corner here in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We may still be having some warm sunny days, but that won’t last long. But by taking care of some fall landscape chores now, you can get a jump start next spring when temperatures warm up again. And you can instantly enhance your curb appeal. Keep reading to get fall landscape tips that will brighten up your yard.
Fall is also an ideal time to divide your perennials. If you have a native perennial garden, be sure to leave some of the perennials undisturbed, so the birds and beneficial insects have food to eat and a safe place to stay for the winter. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has some good tips on when to cut back perennials. Some should be cut back in fall, some cut back in spring, and some shouldn’t be cut back at all.
Dividing perennials is a different matter. The University of Maryland Extension has some great tips on how to do it successfully. We like to think of these types of perennials as the gift that keeps on giving. Dividing them prevents overcrowding, and also allows you to add color ro next year to an area that was bare this last summer.
Brighten Your Garden Beds with Fall Color
Now is also the time to replace the tired and dried out summer annuals with chrysanthemums, celosia, pansies, and ornamental kale. Do this after you have divided perennials, if you are doing that. Feel free to place some pumpkins and gourds in your planting beds as well, or decorate your walkways and entryway.
For more ideas in this area, check out one of our recent blog posts that discuss the full range of fall landscape planting possibilities.
Mulch now to protect any new plantings or divided perennials to protect them from cold, and allow them to develop their root system safely. You can cover garden beds with 3-4 inches of mulch. Mulched soil stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby protecting the root systems of plants, shrubs, and trees.
Pull the mulch slightly away from the bottom of shrubs and from any trees. Don’t pile mulch up next to a tree trunk, as it can cause moisture to build up. That in turn provides a breeding ground for insect pests, disease, and even decay.
And don’t forget routine landscape maintenance such as weeding and pruning. Pull weeds as they appear, to keep them from overrunning a garden bed or other area.
Prune any dead branches from trees or shrubs. In general, don’t do major pruning in late fall, because any new growth may not survive the winter. Any major pruning should wait until winter when the shrub is dormant in winter.
Fall Lawn Care Tips
And don’t forget the turfgrass. If you already have a lawn care service, they should take care of things for you. Otherwise, keep mowing until the first hard frost, which is when your grass stops growing.
Rake up fallen leaves frequently to keep them from building up on your lawn and killing the grass. Raking helps reduce thatch in your lawn, while leaf blowers don’t. Plus, when you rake leaves, it counts as exercise!
Fertilize/winterize. Fall is probably the most important time to fertilize if you want a healthy lawn. It gives your grass plenty of nutrients to get through the winter and get off to a strong start in the spring.
Consider Hiring Professional Landscapers
If all the raking, weeding, planting, mulching, bending, and stooping doesn’t sound like much fun to you, consider hiring professional landscapers like LiveWell Outdoors. We offer a multitude of fall landscaping services, including:
- Seasonal cleanup
- Monthly landscape maintenance (weeding, pruning, mulching)
- Changing out flowers
- Planting new shrubs and trees as practicable
Set up a consultation today to get on the schedule!