Fall Landscaping Checklist
Fall is just around the corner and a great time to tackle some landscaping projects. It’s also essential to take steps to prepare your lawn and garden for winter. While most people just focus on cleaning up their yard, there are additional steps to take to care for you landscaping, especially in Calgary. This season is the best time to nourish your soil.
During fall, you can enjoy the cool temperature and moist soil which strengthens the development of your plant’s roots. Hence, its important to keep the earth healthy in time for the next season. If you want to maintain a healthy and well-groomed lawn this fall, read our guide below. You may also get your landscape supplies Calgary ready in time for the coming season.
- Remove weeds & leaves – Start removing the leaves in your yard by raking them up. In Calgary, you can put the leaves in the green compost bin, or in paper bags to be picked up. You will want your lawn to be free of leaves in the winter. As it gets colder, frozen organic debris may release phosphate and nitrates. Pulling out the weeds now means you’ll have fewer weeds during the next season.
- Trim the grass – The recommended height of your grass is between 2 and 2.5 inches. If it grows over 3 inches, the grass could mat which may result in problems during the winter such as snow mold. Meanwhile, if your grass is shorter than two inches, it may limit its ability to store food and promote the growth of weeds.
- Aerate your lawn – When it rains, you should help the compressed soil to ventilate. This enables the water, oxygen as well as the nutrients to reach the roots. If you have a small yard, you can use a fork. However, for bigger lawns, you may opt for an aerator to remove deep soil plugs. Do this step before you fertilize the soil.
- Fertilize the soil – Your yard needs some TLC, especially after experiencing the heat of the summer season and right before the cold winter months begin. During the cool season, the grass should be fertilized. Take a soil test to determine which nutrients your lawn needs. In general, a safe option is topdressing your lawn with screened loam and adding some compost for the required nutrients.
- Shut off the water lines – Water can freeze and crack your irrigation systems or the lines to your hose bib. If your irrigation system is automatic, blow out the water using compressed air before it freezes the pipes.
- Add some mulch – Add a fresh layer of mulch such as cedar mulch or bark nuggets to your garden beds before the soil freezes. Mulch will regulate soil temperatures during the colder months, helping to protect the roots of your perennials. Is will also reduce soil erosion during the spring thaw.
Following these steps can help ensure that your lawn and garden remain healthy and are ready for the next season. Start a checklist and list down all the landscape supplies you’ll need for this project.
Benefits of Fall Mulching
Did you know it is important to mulch your garden beds before winter?
Mulching during the fall season does have its benefits. While most people often do this during spring, it does have its purpose in the fall. Some plants may live through the cold winter days but they still need some TLC, especially in case the weather becomes severe. Applying mulch keeps your lawn healthy. During fall, mulching reduces the loss of water in the soil. It also helps suppress the growth of weeds and protects the plants from extreme weather and temperature.
Here are some of the reasons why it pays to mulch during fall.
- Retains soil moisture – Mulching is capable of preserving soil moisture and is perhaps the most popular reason why gardeners use it. It reduces the loss of moisture between 10 to 50 percent and prevents the soil from drying.
- Suppresses weeds – Mulching significantly reduces the growth of weeds and can eventually help eliminate weeds completely. However, you’ll have to make sure that the mulch doesn’t contain any weeds. Otherwise, you might end up growing more! You need to apply a thick layer of mulch over the soil to prevent weeds from germinating. If the mulch isn’t enough or is uneven, the weeds may continue to thrive.
- Regulates soil temperature – Mulching allows the soil to promote the right temperature. Most people overlook this benefit. Mulch provides the soil with the insulation it needs.
During the hot season, it helps keep the soil cool. At the same time, it warms the soil around the plants during the cold winter nights. Hence, mulching plays an important role in managing soil temperature, especially in places that are more prone to rapid and extreme changes.
Mulch prevents the soil from freezing and thawing which causes damage to the roots. Winter mulches are applied during the fall when the plants become dormant after spring.
Types of Mulch for Fall
The most popular types of mulch are wood chips, bark mulch and bark nuggets. Cedar Mulch is a popular choice due to it’s rich colour and great smell. Cedar Mulch will also break down slower than other mulches due to its acidic properties.
Did you know, you can even use gravel or decorative rock to as a mulch? While it won’t provide additional nutrients, gravel will not breakdown over time and has many of the same benefits as using organic mulch.
- Bark Mulch – This type of mulch has two types: shredded hardwood and softwood bark. The shredded bark is often used around soils surrounding trees as well as perennial plants.
- Wood Chips – A wood mulch is produced from the waste after the trees are chopped. This type of mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulate the soil temperature, and prevent weeds from forming. We offer dyed red and black wood mulch. The dyes used are natural and non-toxic.
- Bark Nuggets – Large and medium sized bark chips, not shredded or processed.
Mulching acts as a protective layer for your plants and shrubs. It keeps the soil warm against the snow during winter while also promoting a cool temperature during the hot summer days. Make sure you have the proper landscaping supplies and tools to get through your fall landscape checklist.