Fall Into a Beautiful Yard

Many people work diligently during the spring and summer to ensure that their yard and everything in it is lushly landscaped, perfectly mowed, trimmed and weed-free. Then, when the first cold front arrives, the mower and gardening tools are packed away until spring returns.  

But, according to the professionals at Landscape Management Services in Lake Charles, you shouldn’t ignore your yard at any time of the year, and that includes cooler months. There is work to be done now that will set the stage for a healthier start next spring.

“Fall is the best time of year to trim hedges and trees,” says Chad Everage with Landscape Management. “Not only will this mean you have fewer leaves to rake, but it also improves the appearance of your yard.” He advises identifying and removing dead or diseased limbs first, and then cutting back excessive growth and trimming shrubs into the desired shape. 

“You also need to fertilize your lawn in the fall to give grass needed nutrients for the winter, which is when the top layer of grass is dormant while the root systems continue to grow,” explains Everage.  “Roots easily absorb and store nutrients during this time, and fall fertilizing will also help your lawn ‘go green’ faster in early spring.” The type of fertilizer you need varies depending on the type of grass you have, and Everage says you may want to ask a landscape expert for some guidance in choosing the right one for your lawn.  He also recommends raking or mulching leaves to keep your lawn healthy over the winter months. And if you are establishing a new lawn, he says you should do that and fertilize as soon as possible. “This late in the growing season, you should use sod and try to get it laid by mid-October.”

Everage says it’s important not to stop mowing your grass just because the weather is cooler. Raise the height on your lawn mower to leave a blade that is two-and-a-half to three inches tall throughout the fall. He explains this is the optimum height for preventing diseases in the winter while still providing your grass the self-sufficiency it needs to store food for the coming months.

“Late October through March is the prime season for planting hardy trees, shrubs and ground covers in Louisiana, so now is an excellent time to assess your landscape situation and begin to make plans,” advises Everage. “The benefits of a well-planned landscape are many, from providing shade, privacy and color, to correcting drainage problems and creating outdoor living areas for your family to enjoy. Beautiful landscaping also increases the value of your home.”

He says most homeowners have no trouble dealing with small projects themselves. “Planting a tree, designing a flower garden or planting beds around a deck are perfect do-it-yourself projects. Designing an overall landscape, including drainage, outdoor living areas and major planting, may require some expert design advice and/or installation assistance, depending on the capabilities of the homeowner. It may also be something you add to in stages, over time. We’re always here to help, whatever the size of the project, and whether you just need advice and supplies, or a full design and install.”

For more information on landscape planning, call Landscape Management at call (337) 478-3836 or visit www.landscapemanagement.org.

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