There is no denying it – winter is on the way and there is nothing we can do to stop it. What can we do to prepare for the cold temperatures, whistling winds, and variety of precipitation that may come our way? For many of us these changes mean tuning up the snow blower, buying ice melt, and taking care of our lawn and garden for the last few weeks of fall. What steps do you take each fall to close up the property and clean up the yard? Here are some of our suggestions this fall for healthy lawn care.
- Aerate – After a spring, summer, and fall of high traffic all over your yard, the soil may have become compacted. Whether it is due to entertaining or playing, most turf could use a bit of loosening up to get the water, nutrients, and oxygen to the roots. Aeration can really help loosen the ground and get all that good stuff right down to the base of the roots.
- Fertilize – Find out what your grass needs through testing or talking to a lawn care specialist before you fertilize for the winter. By giving one last feeding, your grass will have a jump start in the spring and “weather” the winter better than without fertilizing.
- Keep Watering and Mowing – Until your lawn and garden goes dormant after the first hard frost at the beginning of November, keep watering all plantings, grass, bushes, shrubs, and trees. In addition, keep mowing ⅓ of the height of the grass until that time. A well-manicured lawn can help prevent weeds and pests from taking hold.
- Clean it Up – Remove all lawn and garden items such as garden gnomes, planters, and patio equipment. Rake the leaves and dispose of them properly. Make sure to get every corner so the rotting leaves do not smother the grass underneath.
Need help preparing your yard for the winter? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.
Hot apple cider, pumpkins, and crisp leaves crunching underfoot – all these things remind us of fall. But what about planting? Not usually something you think about when it comes to this time of year, right? Planting in the fall; is it even feasible? Planting isn’t just a spring and summer activity. Believe it or not, there are some species that do very well when planted in the fall. Let’s take a closer look at some plants that could actually benefit from planting this fall.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, “Fall has distinct planting benefits. Autumn’s cooler air temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners. The soil is still warm, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. On the flip side, in spring, plants don’t grow until the soil warms up. Fall has more good days for planting than spring does, when rain and other unpredictable weather can make working the soil impossible. And there’s a lot more free time for gardening in autumn than in always-frantic spring. Plus, the late season is usually bargain time at garden centers that are trying to sell the last of their inventory before winter.”
So what could you consider planting this fall?
- Spring Bulbs such as: Daffodil, Tulips, Grape hyacinth, Siberian squill, Allium, Fritillaria, Dog’s-tooth violet, Glory-of-the-snow, Winter aconite and Snowdrop.
- Pansies are good to plant in the fall because the ground is still fairly warm and will allow the roots to get established.
- Turfgrass is a good bet for fall planting as well. Cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass should be fertilized in early September and again in late October or early November to give a boost for earlier spring green-up.
- Bushes and Shrubs find fall to be an ideal time for taking root and getting established. Be sure to fertilize and water before they become dormant so they will start strong in the spring.
Do you have questions about fall plantings? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.
Many of us have been faithfully mowing our lawn every weekend since the growing season began in April or so, depending upon your yard and location. So at this point, some of us might be thinking, “When can I stop mowing?” or “What should I be doing different with mowing in the fall?” These are both great questions that can help keep your lawn healthy even as we begin to “put it to bed for the winter.” Let’s take a closer look at what is involved in fall mowing and how soon we can call it quits until next spring.
You may have noticed that your grass is growing at a slower rate this fall. In fact, it may seem like you really don’t need to mow it every weekend to get it to its regular height. Instead of skipping a mowing, try changing the height of the blade so you continue to remove ⅓ of the height. This will maintain a good height as well as health of the blades of grass. Usually around the beginning of November, when the first hard frost hits our area, the grass will go dormant and you can really close down the mowing for the season.
Have you noticed that the grass is not cutting as evenly as it was earlier in the spring? This could be due to your blade becoming dull and tearing at the grass rather than cutting it smoothly. Or it could be due to a buildup of debris in the undercarriage if the mower. Shut off the mower and hose down the undercarriage to make sure built-up grass clippings are not causing the problem. If that isn’t it, you may want to take the blade in this winter for sharpening and schedule a tune up for the mower in general. Any local lawn care specialist or hardware store should be able to aid with this.
Fall is a time to take stock in what happened with your lawn this past growing season. Did you have pests, bald spots, or maybe wildlife digging at your lawn? Inspect your lawn during these last few mowing sessions and decide a course of action.
Do you have questions about your lawn or the last mowings of the season? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.
Many homeowners consider mulching a spring chore, only to be completed to make the flower beds and plantings look nice. The flower beds and bushes just look complete and well-groomed when there is a fresh coating of mulch beneath. While mulching for aesthetics is one aspect of why homeowners should take part in this chore, it is not the whole story behind why mulching, even in the fall, is a smart idea. Here are some reasons why mulching in the fall is important to the health and vitality of your organic plantings.
- Mulch is an excellent insulator. Just a few inches of organic matter over the ground around trees, bushes, and perennial plantings can keep the roots protected from the freezing temperatures known to hit our region every winter. Mulch insulates the soil, helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold temperatures. If you have tender growths or new bushes in your yard, this fall may be a good time to spread a layer of mulch to give an added level of protection for whatever Mother Nature may have in mind for us this winter.
- Mulching around the bases of bushes, trees, and plantings also allows for retention of moisture and much needed water throughout the winter months. While snow also tends to do this, mulch provides warmth and protection, in addition to moisture retention. Keeping the roots moist is imperative to the plantings’ bouncing back next spring.
- Mulch also helps with weeds. With a layer of mulch, weeds have difficulty growing, thus stopping the competition for growth with the roots. It is also helpful that homeowners do not need to weed as often during the growing season.
- Compaction of soil is an issue in areas that are high or moderately high traffic areas. Mulch can help prevent some of that compaction which would require aeration and turning of the soil. In addition to compaction prevention, mulching stops damage from lawn mower or trimmer blades from reaching the base of plantings.
Wondering how you can keep your lawn healthy this fall? Continue to check back with our blog or call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.
The leaves have begun to fall, the days have become shorter, and the weather markedly cooler. This can mean only one thing for your yard and property; it’s time to start cleaning and prepping for the notoriously harsh New England winter! While fall is a great time for picking out your pumpkin and going for a hayride, it is also a time to get ready for the weather that winter brings to our region. When prepping your yard, be sure not to make these common Autumn lawn care mistakes.
- Rotting Leaves – Many homeowners rake up and/or mow leaves that have fallen over the last few weeks. Be sure to get all the leaves, even in the corners of the yard, under decks, and around gardens. Leaves that are forgotten or missed because of their difficult location can begin to rot and kill the grass underneath. Forgetting to clean up the leaves from all areas of your yard is one of the major mistakes homeowners make.
- Ignoring Pests – As we enter the later fall months, it may be easy to ignore the pests that seem to have taken up residence in your yard: from bees, to wildlife, and even rodents. Don’t make the mistake of putting off treating for pests even though we are late in the season.
- Improper Fertilizing – Winterizing your lawn so that it is protected through the cold weather is a good idea. A winterizer high in nitrogen will help your lawn over-winter and green up sooner in the spring. Talk to your lawn care specialists to make sure you are using the right winterizer that has an appropriate composition of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
- Forgetting to Mulch – Mulch doesn’t just provide aesthetically pleasing ground cover, it holds in moisture and heat that many plantings need through the winter. Don’t think it is too late to mulch just because the calendar reads October.
- Improper Watering – Over-watering can be just as big a problem as underwatering. Fall is a time to check if you have been giving your grass and plantings the right amount of water that will hold them till spring.
Do you need helping figuring out the right steps to prep your yard and garden for the long winter that lays ahead? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.