It’s fall in Minnesota – the time of year when leaves begin to change color and float gently to the ground. When the air in the morning turns cool and crisp.
Not only is this season a favorite for many, it is also the time to take care of several landscaping maintenance tasks around your yard to get things in order before winter. What follows in this post are the most useful and important maintenance tasks, so get outside and enjoy this weather!
Significant Dates for MN Landscape Maintenance
- Beginning of October: It is wise for your irrigation system to be winterized and the lines blown out this time of year. This is a maintenance task that is easy to do yourself, or for under $50 most companies that provide landscape maintenance provide this service.
- Throughout October: Plant bulbs for spring-flowering plants such as tulips, crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops, irises, and more (hyacinths should be planted no later than mid-October)
- October 15th: After this date, do not plant any perennials or grasses. Most will not survive, and spring will bring you better luck.
- November 1st: After this date, do not plant any evergreens. There are some large deciduous shrubs and deciduous trees that may be planted later only if balled and burlapped (B&B). However, it is recommended to wait for spring when you will have better luck.
Fall Care for Trees and Shrubs
- Shrubs and trees need to be pruned for size control or dead branch removal. Do not over-prune or sculpt shapes that are unnatural. Use hand shears rather than power shears, and to keep a more natural healthier look, thin the interior branches.
- Be sure there is enough mulch around shrubs and trees. Mulch helps conserve moisture and stops the soil from turning dry over winter.
- Soil moisture needs to be checked and, if needed, watered. Keep extra attention on anything that was planted this year.
October Maintenance for Perennials and Ornamental Grasses
- Prepare semi-hardy and tender perennials and shrubs for winter. You can leave some of the leaves that have fallen and built up around these plants’ bases for winter. Leaves can provide insulation from the cold around the plant’s base. In addition, some cleanup of leaves can be saved until spring instead of doing it all now. If more insulation is needed, wood mulch can be placed around these plants.
- Leave seed heads and spent stems on perennials and grasses until spring to enjoy the look. If you want a neater look, cut them back now to 6-8″ off the ground.
- Dividing: Keep in mind not all species like planting/division in fall; spring may be better – check with your local garden center or extension service for plant specifics.
If you’re unsure of how to handle any maintenance that needs to be done around your yard, give us a call. We are able to provide you with the essentials of a cleaner yard that is ready for the colder months.
Fall is also the perfect time to plan for landscaping changes next year – with a design finalized this fall you can be ready for spring installation at 2015 prices. Contact us today to set up a free initial consultation. We are a licensed MN landscape design and installation contractor.