Fall Landscaping Tips
Because Spring is a busy time for those of us who work in the nursery industry, I have to wait until Fall to "play" in my yard. Well, Fall is here, and the fun has begun!
Fall is a good time to move plants within the landscape because the weather is on the dry side and the plants are not pushing new growth. My wife often surprises me by rearranging the furniture in our home. Every Fall I give my wife a surprise by rearranging our yard. It's not so different really. Doesn't change bring new delights to the eye? Sometimes a plant doesn't work out where it was first planted. Sometimes it takes two or three moves to get it right. Sometimes a plant just needs to be removed, given to a neighbor or deposited in the compost bin and replaced with something better.
I get good ideas from the book, "Outside the Not So Big House". Authors Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka encourage readers to create "another room" or an extension of the house by using the back yard. as the yard is now part of the house, they encourage the rearranging of furniture from time to time. Walk through your yard. Study the details. Note the moving areas of sun and shade are there Azalea Bloom-A-thons, Hydrangea Twist-n-Shout, Hosta Patriot or Heucheras spotted in the shady areas for a splash of color. Consider any wet areas—try bayberry or a red twigged Dogwood or if possible improve the drainage.
Do you have focal points of color and texture happening in each of the four seasons? Place Nandinas , Hollies, Crapemyrtle, Barberries, Abelias, Hydrangea Little Lime or Vanilla Strawbeery , Weigela Sonic Bloom Red, Spirea Gold Mound or Drift Roses around the yard in the sunny locations for color ang focus pints. Do you have architectural features --- old statues, doors wagon wheels, large rocks, mirrors, gardening tools that help create that four-season effect?
Consider areas of groundcover plants ( ajuga, vinca, or sedums ) , grass, mulch and rock as a "carpet". Is your carpet enhancing the color and texture of your plants? Here are some plants that will interest to your landscaping. On the evergreen side there is Thuja Fire Chief , Thuja North Pole, or Juniper Blue Star, Juniper Gold Lace, or Spruce Weeping Norway, Spruce Globe Blues or Chamaecyparis Lemon Thread, and when needing something with cool texture, special features try Weeping White Spruce.
Planting practices in the Fall are the same as any other season.
- Dig the whole 1/3 larger than the root ball. If the plant was in a pot, break up the root ball before planting.
- Place the plant in the hole with the root ball extending ONE INCH above the soil line.
- Add micro nutrients. Blend the soil from the hole with GOOD compost.
- Use the blended soil to back fill the bottom 2/3 of the hole.
- Fill the hole to the top with water.
- Allow the water to absorb slowly.
- Finish filling the hole with the blended soil.
- Water very slowly and thoroughly.
- Make sure the soil settles all around the plant. (This settling removes air spaces that allow roots to dry out.)
- Finish with a 2 or 3 inch layer of mulch up to the plant but NOT touching it. (Note: If you are planting perennials, do NOT cover with mulch. Rather, cover with GOOD compost.)
- Water the mulch thoroughly.
Fall is here. Have fun with your landscape. Bring new delights to the eye.