Summer is winding down, and little by little, the leaves are letting go of their branches. All the growing and blooming, mowing, and weeding will soon slow and stop. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to turn away from your landscape. In fact, fall is one of the most productive and rewarding times to focus on landscape design. You can plan, prepare, prune and plant and work with your landscaper to help your plants survive the winter and make a glowing reappearance next spring. Another plus: your landscaping company may not be quite as busy as the mowing season wraps up and can schedule you for fun and creative projects that will help you shine come spring. Here are a few great questions to ask your landscaper about fall projects and design:
What Kinds of Shrubs and Trees Should I Plant This Fall?
The spring of 2021 was a terrific season for blooming shrubs and trees in Northern Virginia. The redbud simply knocked us out this year! But that gorgeous color doesn’t happen overnight. If you fell in love with your neighbors’ colorful blooms last spring, now is the time to think about making it happen in your yard.
Fall is an excellent time to plant shrubs and trees. Fall’s cooler temperatures and consistent rainfall help new plants develop healthy root systems and get established before winter. Fall planting gives new shrubs and trees time to rest during the winter, ready to come out blazing in spring. Some of our favorite shrubs and trees for Loudoun County and the region include redbud, magnolia, dogwood, Japanese maple, crape myrtle, azaleas, and hydrangeas. Of course, there are lots of other options depending on your layout and style. Use your landscape designer as a sounding board and idea generator. They know the lay of the land and what will do well in your yard.
Can You Knock Out Pruning In The Fall?
Many experts recommend doing the bulk of your pruning in early spring. But there are some pruning and trimming tasks that are well suited for fall:
- Remove dead limbs on trees before winter weather hits.
- Remove pesky suckers that have sprouted on favorite trees over the summer.
- Some plants like butterfly bush and gardenia thrive after a post-bloom fall trim. It helps to have a team of professionals who know which plants benefit from fall pruning.
- Trim back perennials to make room for fall mulch and spring growth.
- Remember, with freezing temperatures around the corner, pruning in fall is a delicate job. You don’t want to damage your plants, so it’s best to choose a professional team that knows which plants to prune, when, and how.
How Can Fall Mulching Protect My Landscape?
Mulch is one of our favorite tools for fall landscape design. Shredded bark is an excellent choice for fall. It provides a cozy blanket for your plants and looks appealing and tidy as we prepare for more sparse winter landscapes. A three-inch layer can help protect plants from the elements. Mulching in fall:
- Promotes moisture retention all winter long.
- Insulates your soil, providing a healthy environment for beneficial worms and microbes.
- Keeps plant roots warm longer into the season.
What Are My Irrigation and Drainage Needs?
Fall is the perfect time to assess and improve your irrigation and drainage systems to prepare for winter and next spring. Your landscaper will remove water from your irrigation pipes before winter freeze hits to prevent damage. Fall is a perfect time to talk with your landscaper if you don’t have an irrigation system. We can design and dig and have you rolling next spring.
Fall is also the ideal time to evaluate your yard’s drainage situation. Fall brings wetter weather after the end-of-summer dryness, so you can get a sense of where the water starts to pool. French drains are a popular option. Your landscaper digs a trench and places a pipe with holes, then covers the line with rocks. The rocks guide runoff water into the tube, which draws it away from your home and other landscape features. Your landscaper usually fills the trench with gravel but can put more aesthetic decorative rocks on top. Landscapers also use stones to line driveways and hardscaping to absorb runoff.
How Can I Prepare For Spring With Weed Control In The Fall?
Using a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall can prevent common early spring weeds from germinating, making them much easier to control. It’s an excellent deterrent to common early spring weeds like clover. You’ll still want to set up another pre-emergent treatment in the spring, but that fall treatment can create a big hurdle for early weeds that creep in before your spring treatment. A professional herbicide application ensures that you’re applying the correct fertilizers at the right levels and at the right time to promote a healthy lawn.
Making The Magic Happen With Fall Landscaping
The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of caring for your lawn and landscape. We can put away the mowers and take time for high-quality landscape design. At Epling Landscaping and Lawn Service, we love serving our clients all year round. But fall is near and dear to our hearts. Our team is ready to help you design, plan, and take care of all the details– large and small– that lead to a healthy winter and a gorgeous landscape in spring.