The weather here in Michigan is changing and with that comes a change in the needs of our landscaping. The four seasons bring with it a mix of snow, rain, heat, humidity and dry spells. Is it possible to maintain the health of your lawn with all that this brings? Yes, however it is important to recognize that your lawns care and needs will change throughout each of the seasons. It is up to you to keep up with these changes or to hire a landscape company to come in and maintain the landscape.
The fall is upon us here in Michigan. Laws start to go into a semi hibernating state in which they trap the minerals and nutrients to stay alive throughout the chilly, sunless days of winter. When looking into fall lawn maintenance it is important to think about it in terms of wrapping the year up.
Lawn fertilization is a must during the “closing” of the lawn season. When you do this you give your lawn the basic nutrients it needs to stay healthy through the winter. When fertilizing you will want to first make sure debris such as leaves is removed and the grass freshly cut. Then before you fertilize you will want to aerate the lawn so that the fertilizer is able to seep deep into the lawn. This provides what the lawn will miss out on through the cold, sunless winter.
The next thing to think about in fall landscape need is pruning. Many flowers and shrubs need to be pruned back to allow for the new growth of the spring. It is important to note though that not all trees will benefit from this. Some trees do not need trimming of any kind and will continue to grow. The same is true with many plants. Fall is also the time for removing bulbs that are damaged in the freeze and plant those that need the winter to develop and grow in the spring. Burlap should be applied to all shrubs that are especially fragile and that the frost will damage. Plants, shrubs and trees can also benefit greatly from some extra food in the form of fertilizer.
Raking the leaves that have accumulated on the lawn is often a huge task. There are two schools of thought in leaves being raked or allowed to live as they lay. This is up to individual homeowners. Leaves can act as a great fertilizer in their own right. From experience leaves allowed to decay within the Lily of the Valley in the yard act as a major growth hormone for them. Literally the plant uses that acid break down of the leaves to flourish. Use discretion when allowing leaves to accumulate on grass. It is not beneficial to allow all of the fall leaves to stay piled on the ground as they will absorb the little bit of sun that will attempt to get to your lawn throughout the winter.
Fall landscape needs are similar to spring landscaping needs. We do clean-up in the spring to spruce the lawn up and clean-up in the fall to allow for hibernation and re-growth. Landscaping needs also vary depending on the region in which you live. The plants that survive and grow here in the North are not the same viable plants that exist in Arizona. Can you imagine a cactus here soaking up the rainfall that we receive here in Michigan?