Wrap Up Your Summer Landscaping

R. L. Rhodes
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The cycle of the year continues to turn, and summer slowly gives way to autumn. With relief from the heat on its way, it’s time to start thinking about how the change of seasons will translate into changes in your landscape.

Adjusting your landscaping practices now will ensure a smooth transition for your plants and keep the work from piling up around the first frost. Here are some steps to help you wrap up your summer landscaping routine in anticipation of fall:

  • The end of summer is a great time to take care of lawn problems or ward off problems in the future. Start off with core aeration— that will take care of thatch problems and dry, hardening turf. Once the extreme of summer heat subsides you can reseed if needed. Be sure to fertilize as well.

  • Start mentally preparing for your raking routine. That compost pile you’ve been thinking about for some time now? This is the perfect time to get started on it. With the leaves readying to drop from the trees, you’ll soon have plenty of fodder for composting.
  • You’ll also want to keep the ground tidy around trees that bear fruit. Fallen fruit will eventually rot and could invite disease into your landscape.
  • Particularly if you’re in Hardiness Zones 1-9, get ready to bring in any potted tropical plants you may have. Start before the temperatures dip by moving them to a shady part of the yard for a week or so. That way, the move won’t send them into shock.
  • With the transition to fall, you’ll want to cover any water features you may have. That will help keep falling leaves out of the circulation systems, heading off clogs down the road.
  • Soon the days will start shortening. Now’s a good time to consider installing landscape lighting, particularly along paths and along the perimeter of your house. They’ll help keep your landscape safe and extend your season for entertaining friends and family outdoors.
  • Think about whether or not you want to continue attracting birds to your yard during autumn and winter. If so, you’ll need to be more solicitous. Consider setting up a bird feeder, and get the habit of keeping it well stocked with seed. Birdhouses are also a strong selling point — just be sure to provide your feathered tenants with a clean source of water.
  • Finally, start making plans for planting in fall. That’s prime time for establishing new shrubs and trees, as well as looking ahead with spring flowering bulbs. Start shopping now for the best selection, but don’t plant too early or your bulbs may sprout early, only to be killed off by the winter freeze. Keep an eye on the Garden Club for more fall garden and landscaping tips.

 

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