Well, it’s September. And we are looking at doing some fall landscaping maintenance tasks to get ready for winter. Although the Pacific Northwest primarily has a late summer and we’ve had warmer temperatures easily into November, it is also time to be thinking about and considering fall landscaping and gardening tasks. Here are 10 September maintenance tasks to consider.
#1. Care for annuals, perennials, and bulbs.
Now is the time to be thinking about planting flowers for next year. After soil temperatures drop below 60°, spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, dwarf irises, crocuses, and hyacinths do their magic. Check for disease-free bulbs and add a little bone meal or bulb fertilizer to the planting hole as you prepare.
Consider scattering wildflowers or creating a wildflower garden in rows or open beds. As the weather cools, perennials that have overgrown their space need to be either divided or removed. Tender bulbs like dahlias should be dug up and stored in cool, dark areas.
Now is a great time to consider fertilizing your cool-season lawns. Because we don’t have freezing temperatures throughout the winter and it doesn’t get scorching lay hot, fall is a great time to consider adding up to three applications between now and December to your lawn.
Continue watering about every 2 to 3 days to about 4 to 6 inches in depth. This will keep your lawns looking green and lush throughout the fall season.
Now is also a good time to consider seeding or re-seeding those fall grasses or a sod. Seedbed should be raked, detached, and aerirated ready for new planted lawns and kept moist.
#5. Vegetable gardens.
Vegetables such as onions can be divided and replanted. Cool weather seeds can be replanted such as spinach, lettuce, and radishes, and continued to pick broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and any other vegetables that are offering a second harvest of their bounty.
Now is a good time to be harvesting any perennial herbs that won’t be carried over the winter such as basil, cilantro, and parsley. You can freeze them or drive them for winter use.
September is the start of the squash season so clear out any weeds around your squash plants and give pumpkins, acorn, zucchini, and other squash varietals room to grow.
September makes a great time to add in manure, compost, or leaf and garden soils for increased organic matter throughout the winter. But don’t actually feed the plants with new fertilizer as were starting to wind down and we don’t want to waste our fertilizer or give plants a boost they are not ready for. However, it is a good time to feed trees and shrubs.
Deciduous implants store their energy for the winter so instead of directing that food source towards new growth it’s used to preserve the plant until spring.
Fall is a good time to prune the shrubs and trees as they enter into dormancy. There are a few varieties were pruning should wait until spring. You don’t want to cut anything back to the ground such as a hedge or shrub as it can stimulate new soft growth that might freeze over the winter.
Also, some trees cannot be pruned until spring or until they start getting their leaves. Pruning in the fall is a tricky predicament and probably should be done by a professional that knows what trees and shrubs should be pruned and which should be left alone.
#10. Weed control.
Pruning, weed control, and bed mulching are all maintenance items that are perfect for September and the fall. You want to protect your deciduous plants before dormancy and weeds should be killed before these plans enter into winter.
September is a time for a lot of long, landscape, and yard maintenance. If it seems too overwhelming, simply give us a call. That’s what we do and we love it! If you’re ready to work on some fall maintenance tasks, give us a call. We’d love to give you a quote and help your lawn be it’s best throughout the winter and into spring.