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Landscaping – “Falling Into Spring”

The fall season is a beautiful time of year filled with crisp cool air and colorful trees.  It’s also a festive time filled with preparations for the up-coming holiday season; hanging decorations, buying presents, holiday parties and cleaning up gardens and landscapes.

The Cleanup

Most find the task of disposing of old dried-out foliage to denote a daunting time of year – clearing dries up flower beds, and involves raking leaves and cleaning out gutters.  However, it can be a time of renewal and will make for less work next spring when you want to be outdoors doing fun activities and less yard work.

By October, a good portion of your annual flowers and plants will dry out.  They need to be cleared away and/or can be used as compost to create nourishment for your garden next spring.

Once you clear away the garden and decaying plants, place about a 2” layer of compost around the areas where you want to place flowers and plants in the springtime.  For the remainder of the fall and throughout the winter months, there is pretty much little to no care needed for the garden; just let Mother Nature take its course.  However, if you have shade trees that lose leaves in the fall, keep the maintenance of raking the dry leafs for a few weeks during the fall and into the early winter until the trees are bare.

Another purpose for removing dried-out foliage for next season is to prevent any kind of fire hazard.  Dried brush, flowers, leafs and plants are prone to creating a quick fire if precautious are not taken, so clear them as soon as possible and dispose of the remains properly.

Landscaping Lighting Overgrowth

This is also a good time to check the outdoor lighting for overgrowth.  Make sure it is cleared of debris and dried out plants as well.  Since the winter nights are longer, it is essential that your outdoor lighting is not only working properly, but also not obstructed by overgrowth.  Check all the bulbs to ensure they are in working order and check the lighting casings to make sure there is no broken glass or damage.

So now you’ve cleared away the old dried-out foliage and checked all lighting for safety. Now it’s time to do a bit of pre-planning gardening.

Gardening Preparation

Fall is usually a good time to either transplant shrubs and/or plant new ones.  There is normally more rain during this time of year, which alleviates stress on the plants.  In addition, the cost for new scrubs is lower and you may find some good bargains at your local nursery.  If you decide to plant new trees during this time, don’t forget to stake them for sturdiness for the harsh winter months ahead.  Late fall is also a good time to do any trimming of your existing trees and bushes.

And last, plant your annual bulbs in the fall before the ground hardens.  They help to nourish the soil and bring a beautiful colorful touch to the early days of spring.

Doing a little spring cleaning for the yard in fall will not only give your home that drive-up groomed look appeal, but it will also buy you some valuable time in the spring when you can enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine.