Fall Landscape Maintenance FAQs

Is your yard in shape for the cold weather?  When it comes to making sure that your landscape is good to go for the fall and upcoming winter, you want to know that you’re doing all that you can. These answers might help you with any questions that might be burning in your mind for the landscaping that you have around your home. Be prepared and enjoy your yard this beautiful fall.

Q: Why do I have to rake all of the leaves up off of my lawn?

A: Raking the leaves should be done so that the dampness underneath them does not seep into the ground and cause mildew and other fungi to grow. Not only can this kill these parts of the lawn, but it can cause bad growth to happen, which will need to be treated in the spring if you want your grass to look normal again. Make sure to always remove and dispose of them properly by either bagging them, mulching them or using them in a compost.  Note:  You can also use a mulching mower.

Q: Should I water my lawn in the fall? It is already cool and the amount of snow that falls in Minneapolis should be enough, right?

A: Do you still get thirsty when you swim? Your lawn should be watered in the fall. You want to make sure that your grass receives sufficient water in the fall. Even though you can use less water and water less frequently, the lawn will still need water to store for the upcoming winter months.

Q: Should I continue to mow in the fall?  Isn’t the grass growing at a slower pace now?

A: You don’t want your grass to go into winter overgrown – continue to mow the lawn throughout the fall months. You want to keep it at around 2-3 inches in height; however, do not go below that. This is to keep the lawn from becoming too short to suck nutrients during the winter months.

Q: Should I protect my shrubs and flowers throughout the winter, even if they stopped blooming?

A: Lay compost and mulch down around the roots of the plants that are in your yard. Some plants such as hydrangeas will benefit from being covered with cones and then mulched.  Even if they are not sprouting because the weather is cold, you’re going to want to protect them from the frost and snow that is soon to be falling from the skies.  Even if you’ve got plants that are extremely hardy in this zone, protecting them this winter will help give them a boost come spring.  Check with your local nursery to find out what’s best for each plant type.

Q: Must I pull weeds in the fall, or will they just disappear until the warmer weather hits? Will the cold weather kill them off?

A: Weeds will not magically disappear, as much as we all want them too. You should pull them out now, and then not have to worry about them come the beginning of spring. Just like with any other months, they are going to keep coming back if you do not use a weed killer on them, so keep that in mind when you’re pulling.  Make sure you get them before the go to seed – the seed will lie dormant, just waiting for the warm weather to sprout.

As you’re working in your yard this fall, perhaps you’re thinking about changes.  If you’re considering a new landscape design for the spring time, or if you would like additional help with caring for your landscaping, then give us a call here at Architectural Landscape Design. We are more than happy to lend a hand, and this is the perfect time to start planning. We are a licensed landscaping contractor for the Minneapolis area.