Here is your fall landscape to-do list…
Apply Pre-Emergent – In bermuda lawns you’ll want to apply a pre-emergent to your lawn to prevent the winter weed seeds from germinating. Check your local nursery for a pre-emergent with an active ingredient of Simazine or Pendimethalin. St. Augustine doesn’t like herbicides – pre-emergents tend to stunt its growth. Instead use a low nitrogen fertilizer (we use 5-10-31) and spot treat weeds as they show.
Install Trees and Shrubs – Fall is the best season to install trees and shrubs, followed by winter. Believe it or not, spring is the third best season to install a landscape. Just like people, the closer plants get to a Dallas summer the unhappier they get which makes fall the best season for planting. Installing trees and shrubs in the fall or winter allows them to set their roots, so by the time summer rolls around they’re better prepared. Want so design ideas? Go to our gallery and review our landscape architect’s plans. You’ll find lots of great ideas and plants suggestions there.
Mulch Landscape Beds – You’ll want 3″ or so of mulch in your beds. This provides insulation for the plants during our cold weather and blocks most of the weed seeds from germinating. A good mulch, as it decomposes throughout the year, will also give organic material to the roots of your plants. Be sure to use shredded hardwood mulch. Other, cheaper mulch is frequently made from old, shredded pallets and doesn’t break down nearly as well.
Fertilize Trees and Shrubs – As trees and shrubs go dormant over the winter they move nutrients into their root system to store. When you add a balanced fertilizer such as 14-14-14 in the fall, the tree moves the fertilizer into the roots, giving the tree a great boost in the spring.
Install Fall Flowers – Your summer annuals may look nice now but they won’t survive the first couple of frosts. It’s time to change to pansies, kale or cabbage. Follow this link for more information on fall color.
Set Fall Watering Schedule – Did you know your sprinkler system is your first line of defense against winter weeds? Watering spreads your pre-emergent, creating a barrier just below the surface of the soil to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Watering in the fall roughly 30 minutes per week (twice that for rotors) also reduces chance of winter damage. Why do I talk about watering so much? Most of the issues I see in lawns and landscape either start or are made worse by poor watering methods. Follow this link for in-depth fall watering tips.