FALL LANDSCAPING TIPS
Well it is that time of year and the hot summer days in Virginia are cooling down to give you a few more things to do in your yards and landscape. Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA knows just what you need to do. Here are some of our fall landscaping tips that our “Pro Landscapers” do in the fall for their own properties and all our clients, which you should use to tackle between now and the end of November and before snow comes to Virginia.
Give your Lawn and Landscape one last cut for the year.
When making this last fall cut you can make it a little shorter than normal cutting heights made during summer. However, the general rule of thumb is to keep grass around three inches tall – all year long – so there is enough surface area for the sun to hit.
It is best to continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing – yes, even if it’s cold. “If grass blades get too long, they shade the other blades around them. Fact is when snowfall arrives, if the grass is too-long it can get packed down and promote snow mold says Clark, Head Designer at Landscape Pros.”
Test your Soil.
Fall is a good time to apply grass seed, but there is a crucial first step: “The soil should be tested to determine pH and nutrient availability,” says the lawn experts at Landscape Pros. Soil pH deficiencies need to be corrected or you are just wasting time and money. Getting your soil sample to a professional for testing costs about $15 – and it is well worth it. The soil plays such an important role in the good landscaping, yet it often gets overlooked.
Reseed the Lawn.
Once the soil is tested – and any deficiencies are corrected – it’s time to aerate the yard, to overseed the landscape and top dress seed the lawn that is stressed from the summer’s sun or areas where grass has been trampled from foot traffic. It depends on the condition of the lawn, but you typically need about three pounds of seed for every 1,000 square feet of lawn, says Clark & Sheryl, Owners of Landscape Pros in Manassas located in Northern Virginia. Tip: Pros use “certified grass seed” which means it’s almost all pure grass seed with very little weed seeds and no fillers.
Fluff Up the Mulch.
Officially, it is called turning the mulch. Fluffing it up gives flowerbeds a fresh new look and cuts down on the need for more fresh mulch. If you do need to add new mulch, keep the pile around two to three inches thick, adding more than that, the mulch can become a hiding place for insects, plant diseases, and water can have a harder time being absorbed.
Make Fall Mulch
If you find that, after you turn your mulch, you still need more, try making your own. There is no shortage of fallen leaves at this time of year. It is simple, run your lawnmower over your leaves a few times and use them as mulch for your flower beds. Leaf mulch is an excellent source of organic matter that your plants will love you for.
Fall Planning and Planting.
“Fall is a great time to plant,” says the Experts at Landscape Pros. During the Fall it is a perfect time to assess your plants to see if they need to be divided or re-spaced (especially perennials like Hosta plants and daisies) and identify what areas of the landscape needs to be filled in to make next year’s look even better. Tip: If you have summer annuals, consider swapping them out for fall-appropriate mums and pansies.
Driveway and Walkways TLC.
Your lawn’s overall look includes your driveway and walkways. The fall is an important time to fill cracks in asphalt or concrete and apply a good sealant to help prevent water penetration damage from freezing and thawing. Any time water gets into cracks and freezes under the driveway and walkways they are at risk for even more damage.
Water the Evergreens.
Preparing your Evergreens for Fall is important. Make sure all your evergreens are sufficiently watered in September and October to reduce the possibility of dehydration in the winter, says the experts at Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA. How much water do you need? That depends on the weather during this time. If Virginia’s weather turns out to be a rainy fall, no watering may be necessary. If rain has been less than four inches for these months, you will need to consider watering one or two thorough hour-long soakings once a week for up to three weeks to ensure the evergreens are set for winter.
One of the most important fall landscaping tips to remember is to prune trees and shrubs that typically will need a heavy pruning before the cold winter. “Some may need it to help prevent damage from snow and ice storms and some just for looks or to control size for next spring,” says the Experts @ Landscape Pros. Tip: Just don’t prune certain flowering plants like hydrangeas, lilacs and viburnum, because it could spoil their spring bloom.
Pack Up for the Winter.
When all your landscaping chores are done and you have followed our fall landscaping tips, remember to bring in all your tools, sprinklers and, especially hoses. Water left in the hose in winter will expand when it freezes and can damage the hose. And one more tip is to not forget to have all your irrigation lines blown out, so the lines, heads and valves do not crack and need replacement come spring.
We hope these Fall Landscaping Tips are ones you remember to do each fall and successfully prepare your landscapes for winter. Whether you are a DIY homeowner or not… Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA is at your service for all your landscaping needs. Give us a call @ 571-535-8622. We are #1 in Landscaping in Manassas and Northern Virginia and have over 30 years’ experience in providing Fall Landscaping Tips, Full Service Landscape Design and Landscaping Services. Check Us out on Facebook & Twitter