It’s that time of year again: prepping your lawn for the upcoming winter. There’s lots to be done this fall in order to ensure your landscape makes it through the colder months. That’s because cooling temperatures slow above-ground growth, with moister soil encouraging strong root development, says This Old House. Here’s a handy Fall Dallas Landscaping Checklist to keep you on track.
Prune trees and shrubs:
This is an important step in fall landscaping so as to encourage growth next season. However, put off doing any major re-shaping til the dormant season, advises the Dallas County Master Gardener Association. Remove leftover annuals from the summer and get the dead blooms off the warm-season perennials. You can wait till later this season to re-shape those overgrown perennials.
Plant perennials right for your zone: Consider Mexican mint marigold, Mexican bush sage, purple coneflower, yellowbells and autumn sage. By planting these in the fall, you’re allowing them to establish deeper and healthier roots over the cooler months. As such, you’ll enjoy a more robust growth come spring.
Dig up and divide perennials: Sometimes it’s good to give your perennials some much-needed breathing room, like daylilies, cannas, wood ferns, violets, Shasta daisies and bearded irises. These tend to form large clumps or bulbs when left alone too long.
Keep an eye out for insects: Specifically, scale insects like hollies, euonymus and camellias. If you have a St. Augustine lawn, look out for brown spots, using fungicide if needed.
Relocate potted plants indoors but check for insects first. You don’t want those to breed indoors.
Rake leaves as they drop rather than wait till you have a bed of them covering your lawn. This can attract bugs and disease. You can use shredded leaves in your mulch or just add them to your compost pile.
Refrigerate tulips and Dutch hyacinths by late October, which will give them two full months of prep before you have to plant in late December.
Aerate your lawn: Soil gets compressed over time, which prevents nutrients from getting through. Use a garden fork or aerator for this job, depending on how big your yard is.
Plant trees now, not in spring: Most people mistakenly think spring is the best time to plant trees but actually autumn is. That’s because trees planted now will get a head start on establishing good roots before summer returns next year, says Dallas News.
Fertilize the lawn: Texas Home and Garden recommends using a lawn fertilizer with a ratio of 3:2:1 or 4:2:1 of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Figure about one pound for every 1,000 square feet of grass. Don’t over-fertilize; read the package instructions before attempting. Make sure you give your lawn a good soaking right afterwards. Avoid using a winterizing fertilizer until early November.
Plant some herbs: Now is the perfect time to plant an herbal garden. Include anything from dill and fennel to parsley and cilantro. Even thyme, oregano and rosemary are great additions.
Mow one last time: Trim your grass to about an inch and a quarter to close out the mowing season. This will make it harder for disease to attach to the grass. Just don’t trim too much or you’ll compromise its food production.
Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas
Contact us for more information on our residential lawn maintenance and management services at 214-328-5296. We would be happy to handle these tasks and more for you this fall.