Fall Checklist

The end is near; our incredible long, hot summer that is. In the coming week, we may have highs in the 70’s as we join the rest of the nation with ‘fall-like’ weather conditions. As the seasons change, there is a short window for a number of landscaping tasks to complete before winter is officially here. Here are a few tasks to add to your fall to-do list:

  • Check irrigation scheduling: As temperatures drop, plants do not require as much water. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, our region will be colder and receive above-average precipitation this winter.  Adjusting irrigation programs and using the rain delay setting on your irrigation controller will help save on water.
  • Plug drip emitters where needed: This is a great opportunity to not only reduce the volume and frequency of water delivered to plants, but also an excellent time to inspect for open emitters where plants no longer exist, helping reduce wasted water.
  • Fertilize turfgrass: If you have overseeded with ryegrass, make sure to fertilize it before the first cold spell to help maintain a deep green color during the coldest months of the winter.
  • Fertilize winter-growing annuals & perennials: Generally flower beds and potted plants need to be fertilized every 4-6 weeks to maintain foliage color and promote blooming through the growing season.
  • Begin scheduling winter tree pruning: Once temperatures and foliage drop, it is the ideal time to prune trees like ash, elm and pine. Many tree care companies book out a few weeks so it’s best to get your property scheduled. You may also schedule stone fruit trees to be pruned sometime around the first of the year.
  • Start renovation pruning: Select shrubs like red bird of paradise may be cut back as early as the middle of November, allowing you to move on to other cutbacks later in the winter. Starting early in the season can be helpful on larger properties to make sure you are able to get to all the cutbacks before spring warm-up.
  • Plant hardy trees and shrubs: It is a great time to plant natives and many other plants that are not frost-sensitive. Hold off on planting cactus and succulents until the warmer season.
  • Plan ahead for the first frost: Purchase frost blankets and have them ready for near-freezing temperatures. Cover young and frost-sensitive plants, making sure the blanket is tucked in at the ground (heat from the earth must be trapped under the blanket).

All of these tasks save time and money in the long run. Getting a jump start on your winter to-do list will help you glide through the holidays and be ready to attack your springtime checklists.