Cleaning up your lawn and landscape in the fall sets you up for a healthier yard come spring. Dead leaves can suffocate the grass and invite pests. Tree pruning prevents damaged or weak branches from breaking off in winter storms, avoiding property damage.
Protecting shrubs from cold temperatures helps them survive the winter, so you don’t have to replace them in the spring. All these steps can save you time and money in the long run.
Why Fall Lawn and Landscaping Cleanup Are Key
You know the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” that wisdom pertains to fall lawn and landscaping cleanups. Preparing your lawn and landscape now before winter arrives will save you time in the spring.
Here are seven fall property tasks that will spruce up your curb appeal now:
- Leaf removal
While leaves are fun for your kids to jump in, it’s vital that you either mulch them with your lawn mower or rake them up. Leaves that stay on the lawn smother the turf grass. It also invites disease and pests to live in your lawn over the winter.
If you use the mulching mechanism on your mower, you’ll chop up leaves for mulch. This gives your turf grass a boost of nitrogen.
- Lawn mowing
Keep mowing your turf until the first freeze, usually at the beginning of November. Since south central PA lawns have cool season grasses, the turf will continue to grow during the cool fall months.
Again, you can boost your lawn’s nitrogen when you use the mulching part of your lawn mower. The mulcher will cut up grass clippings to provide up to 25% more nitrogen for your lawn.
And if you’re worried about grass clippings causing thatch in your lawn, remember that was an urban myth, no matter what your grandfather says.
- Aeration and seeding
Lawns in south central PA have clay soils that compact easily with foot traffic and hot, dry summers.
Every other fall, your lawn should be aerated with a core aerator that takes small plugs of soil out of the ground so that oxygen, water, and nutrition can get deep into the soil.
Also, aeration prepares the soil for grass seed to go deeper into the ground for faster germination. If you have turfgrass that develops over an inch of thatch, you’ll need your lawn dethatched on the years that you don’t aerate your lawn.
At Tomlinson Bomberger, we will overseed your lawn after we aerate it to ensure the seed goes deep into the soil.
- Winter fertilization
Turf experts recommend winter fertilizer in late fall with a higher potassium concentration. Potash, another name for potassium, helps turf grass cells toughen up to avoid bursting during a freeze-thaw cycle in the winter and early spring.
Winter fertilizer also helps turf grass root growth and makes it disease-resistant. Your turf will also have a faster green-up come spring.
- Perennial plant splitting
Fall is also a great time to divide perennials, such as coneflowers, hostas, sedum, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, irises, and astilbe.
- Planting spring bulbs
Walk into any local garden center, and you’ll see that there are spring bulbs to buy and plant. Early spring favorites include daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and snowdrops.
Our landscape technicians will rake the mulch we applied last spring to touch it up. We’ll also pull weeds and add fall annuals, such as ornamental kale, cabbage, and pansies.
Preventing Storm Damage by Pruning Your Trees Now
If you’ve lived in Dauphin or Lancaster County for any length of time, you know that we can get fierce storms involving a lot of wind, snow, and ice. Your trees may not be able to handle sudden wind gusts or heavy snow laying on their branches.
Instead, you need a tree care company to assess and prune your trees. One of our certified arborists will visit your property for their assessment and recommendations.
Specifically, our arborists will look for
- Dead branches
- Branch or trunk cracks
- Crossed branches
- Heavy canopy
- Tree leaning
- Damaged or exposed roots
- Odd growth.
We practice selective pruning to thin the canopy without topping your trees. We’ll also remove weak branches so that wind can circulate but won’t knock down the tree during a severe storm. Your property’s trees will be able to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws their way this winter.
Fall Is the Perfect Time to Plant Young Trees
Fall is also perfect for planting young trees because it allows the saplings to anchor their roots into the soil before next summer. At Tomlinson Bomberger, we’ll help you select the best specimens for your property.
Protecting Evergreen Shrubs
If you have evergreen shrubs, you may want us to apply anti-desiccant sprays to prevent your evergreens from losing moisture during the winter. High winds and sunshine warm the evergreen needles, scales, or leaves, causing them to lose water, also known as transpiration.
We apply anti-desiccant spray, a waxy substance that protects evergreens’ needles, scales, or leaves and holds in moisture, preventing transpiration from happening. While this spray isn’t fool-proof, it works during freeze-thaw cycles throughout late fall and winter.
Contact Tomlinson Bomberger Today to Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall
Ready to boost your curb appeal this fall? Don’t wait. Call us today at 717-399-1991 or fill out our contact form. We have the expertise to make your curb appeal look its best year-round.
At Tomlinson Bomberger, we provide lawn, landscape, and tree care to Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York Counties’ homeowners.