Temperatures are dropping and parts of Nebraska have already experienced their first snowfall. Winter brings a lot of great things, but unfortunately, the death of your landscaping may become part of the package if you don’t properly prepare. Before winter goes into full force, there are a few tasks you should complete this fall to preserve your landscape and save yourself some hassle when springtime rolls around again!
- Rake the leaves. We know that raking leaves isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but it’s important to continuously remove fallen leaves until winter arrives. If leaves pile up, the grass beneath is not able to get the sunlight it needs and becomes prone to fungal infection. Unhealthy grass will not be able to withstand the harsh winter and you’ll have a tough time getting it to grow back in the spring.
- Damage control. Fall is a good time to get rid of any dead or dying landscape (this includes any annual plants in your garden). Removing these reduces the chance of disease spreading to healthy plants and, of course, will make your yard appear cleaner and neater.
- Aerate. Aerate your lawn this fall so that water, oxygen, and nutrients can more easily access roots deep in the ground. Aeration is done with specials tools to break up dry, compacted soil. A variety of these tools are available for purchase so you can do it yourself, or you can hire a professional to do the job for you.
- Fertilize. If you only fertilize your yard once a year, fall is the time to do it (although you should do it more often than that). Your grass needs the extra nutrients during the cold winter months to promote root growth and a healthy start next spring. It’s best to fertilize in mid to late fall.
- Mulch. Adding a layer of mulch to your landscape before winter will provide a barrier that will help protect it in harsh weather. Wait until after the first freeze to mulch and be sure to leave several inches of space between woody stems and tree trunks.
- Keep watering. Many of us don’t think to water our landscape in the fall because everything will go dormant in the winter anyway, but watering is actually very crucial during this time. Again, your trees and shrubbery need the extra nutrients to store and use throughout the winter. Although you don’t need to water as much as you would in the spring or summer, you should do so every 2 to 4 weeks during the fall as long as temperatures are above freezing.
- Lay seed. Fall is also a good time to fill in any bare spots in your yard. Planting seed before winter will help fight any disease and will expedite the regrowing process in the spring.
It’s easy to forget about caring for your landscaping as soon as the weather gets cold, but fall is an imperative time to keep up on landscape maintenance. Complete these tasks before winter officially arrives to keep your yard healthy and ready to come back to life in the spring. For any questions, services, or landscaping products, contact the experts at GE Landscape Supply!