should not let any grass grow under their feet when it comes to fall
prep for next spring’s landscape wonders. There are many tasks
necessary this autumn to secure a good-looking lawn and garden by the
time robins are at their hop-hop-hopping best. To help, landscape
experts have plenty of seasonal suggestions.
If you are going
to enjoy early spring bulbs/flowers, you need to plant them in fall,
says Gary Urban, vice president of landscape design and sales for
Hawks Landscape. He warns homeowners to use more resistant varieties
like daffodils if there are deer or rabbit issues.
can be cut down in fall. Some plants, like huechera, are considered to
be semi-evergreen and should not be cut down at all or the plant may
be harmed, Urban says. He adds that some perennials, such as sedums
and most ornamental grasses, have a great deal of winter interest, so
it’s nice to keep them up in winter, cutting them back in early
that shrubs and young trees can be protected by surrounding them with
hardware cloth secured with wooden stakes to ward off rodents. Tender
plants and evergreens can be protected from winter winds and winter
sun with burlap.
The timing on a
final mow can be a moving target, he laughs, suggesting mowing grass
to a length of about 2 to 2.5 inches. Mowing low helps prevent snow
mold, as well as mole and vole damage. Plus, this allows most of the
fallen leaves to blow away.
plant protection is best for hybrid roses, according to Urban. He
suggests laying evergreen boughs to help insulate them. He adds,
"Most roses planted in recent years are the shrub rose type,
which need little if any protection. Yet it is still necessary to
protect any hybrid tea roses."
you put your landscape to bed in the fall greatly influences how it
will wake up in spring," says Urban.
"Kip" Lindsay, Flagstone Landscape Design operations
manager, indicates that proper fall lawn and garden preparation for
the upcoming winter and spring can produce countless benefits to a
spring gardens, Lindsay suggests, like Urban, to plant bulbs (think
tulips, daffodils, narcissus, scilla and allium) anytime from
September to November.
Bulbs are best
planted in small pie-size holes 6 to 8 inches deep, with a small
handful of bone meal and five to seven bulbs per hole. This will set
the stage for a fuller display of foliage and color, he explains. For
the most part, multiple bulbs per hole provide the most stunning
results, according to Lindsay.
tulips, some are more reliable as perennial bloomers than others,
though all will provide at least one to two years of show in a spring
garden. For year-after-year blooming, Lindsay suggests crocus tulip,
Red Hunter, Lady Jane, Ballade, Apeldoorn’s Elite, Ad Rem and Orange
What to do in
the fall with perennials is always up for discussion, Lindsay
acknowledges. For winter interest, there is no need to cut most
ornamental grasses and the faded blooms of hydrangeas, while others
say it is best to trim to ground level and remove from the garden when
foliage begins to brown.
evergreens, it is best to avoid any hard pruning after late August
since the new growth needs to properly harden off before winter.
Finally, if any new evergreens are exposed to harsh winter winds
and/or sun, covering them in evergreen boughs or burlap is never a bad
idea, he says.
lawn for winter is no great science, but Lindsay says three things can
help tremendously: core aeration, a late "winterizer"
fertilizer and cutting the lawn one last time to no less than 2.5