In the heat of summer, the first fall chill seems far off —but it is closer than you think. Don’t let the cold weather put your property at risk. Whether you own or manage property, hire a professional landscaper to protect and enhance it through the focus of these six areas:
1. Nourish plants in the summer to prepare them for cold weather
To prepare a property to survive the fall and winter engage a landscaper to lay the foundation for health throughout spring and summer with proper watering. Once the seasons start to change and the cooler weather comes, plants receive a lot less sunlight, water and nutrients, so this is an essential step to protecting the investment you’ve made in your property’s landscape.
Your landscaping team should be working soon to take advantage of the good weather and ensure your property gets all the attention it needs to survive fall cold snaps. Conifers and broad-leaved evergreens need extra attention (and water) in the summer months to help them prepare for the long winter ahead.
2. Stake plants
In Canada the fall and winter often bring strong winds, in addition to the risks of snow and freezing rain, which makes it extremely important to protect young plants. Now is the time for your landscaper to stake shrubs and at-risk plants before the unpredictable weather hits.
Mulching garden beds adds a layer of insulation that will protect plants from fall cold and sudden changes in temperature. Mulch also retains moisture which is otherwise sucked out of the air on cold, dry fall and winter days. In the warmer months mulching creates a micro ecosystem for beneficial microbes and over the course of the year will decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
Fertilizing a garden in the fall provides plants with the nutrients they need to start spring on the right foot. The result of fall mulching is that plants will grow stronger and faster next spring. Hire a landscaper to mulch and fertilize your property in the fall and you’ll be greeted by a lush, healthy spring garden.
4. Planting spring bulbs and annuals
You may think it is a bit early to start planning for spring, but for landscapers, fall is the time to start spring preparations. An important part of fall gardening is planting spring bulbs for flowers like tulips and daffodils. These bulb varieties should be in the ground by mid-October, before the ground starts to freeze.
5. Plant mums
The chrysanthemum, or ‘mum’ for short is a hardy and beautiful cold weather flower that is perfect for fall planting. Unlike other flowers they bloom for weeks rather than days and come in a range of colours. Mums are the perfect way to make an immediate impact on fall gardens by adding a vibrant splash of colour.
6. Protect turf
Fall care makes all the difference when it comes to turf. For thick, healthy grass in the spring and summer landscapers will start taking steps now to protect turf during cold weather. Hiring a professional landscaper with the necessary tools and experience is well worth the cost. Fall turf maintenance includes a number of critical steps, including:
- Seeding – Seeding in the fall may seem counterintuitive but during the winter turf roots grow significantly (as long as the turf is seeded while it is still relatively warm).
- Fertilize – Fertilizing before the first major frost helps give grass an extra boost to survive the winter. Choose a fertilizer that is rich in phosphorous to encourage root growth.
- Aeration – Fall aeration breaks up hard soil and makes it easier for water, air and nutrients to dissolve deep into the ground, better accessing the turf’s root system.
- Weed Spraying – Like grass, weeds live year round and can cause even greater damage in the cooler months. Water and nutrients are scarcer in the winter. Weeds will compete with turf and other plants, stealing nutrients from them. A professional weed spraying in the fall is a great way to boost a turf’s winter survival.
- Cut grass short – In the later months of the year many people forget about the importance of turf care. Late fall is one of the most important times to cut grass. Longer grass allows snow mold to thrive which can damage the overall turf.
Hire a professional landscaper
Whether you’re working with a budget that is small or large, hiring a professional landscaper to protect your property’s landscape in the fall is a sound investment. From turf to plants, your professional landscaper will protect your property during the fall and winter months.
POSTAL CODE CHANGE: Please note that the Garden Grove Landscaping postal code has changed to L8B 1K5. Our 136 5th Concession location remains unchanged. Please edit our contact information accordingly.
Written by Paul Lammers
Paul Lammers is the vice-president of operations with Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Paul may be contacted at email@example.com or 1-866-996-1099.