Frugal Fall Landscaping Tips
By Melanie Heisinger
As fall weather takes hold, you need to change your gardening practices to get your landscape ready for the season ahead.
Start your work about six weeks before the first hard freeze. Think of spring, when you will be deluged with chores from lawn care to bare root planting.
In those muddy early days of the season soil preparation for large-scale planting can be a sticky mess. Tillers bog down in the mire. Earth is still cold, its populations of microorganisms sluggish from the winter cold.
Get your gloves and tools and get gardening!
Fall mulching is better for the plants than spring mulching. It helps protect roots from frost and helps retain moisture during a cold and dry winter.
Spread 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch around shrubs and trees. Landscapers typically warn home owners to avoid using free mulch from municipal piles, which often contain disease spores; instead, buy hardwood shredded mulch from home and garden centers, he says.
Cheap, dump mulch mainly is made from trees that have died from disease, which is something you don't want in your yard.
No Time to Prune
Fall isn’t the time to prune, because that encourages growth when healthy plants should remain dormant.
Remove the Dead and Dying
But don’t shelve your shears and loppers yet. Fall is the time to neaten your landscaping before putting it to bed for the winter.
Plan and Plant
Fall is truly a great time to plant, depending on what it is. Perennials typically need to be re-spaced or planted and fall-friendly plants, such as mums or pansies should be planted at this time.
Organize with Interesting Shapes
A cheap landscaping idea that creates great visual impact is the use of pavers and ground cover. If you have unused ground space in your yard or bare earth you’d like to cover up, use recycled or broken pavers in a mosaic pattern of your choice. Plant moss or creeping sedum between the seams for contrast. The combination of the two materials means you need less of each, saving you money.
These are just a few tips to make your landscaping sit for the winter and blossom into beautiful spring.
House Beautiful, "10 Things Pro Landscapers Do to Their Yards Every Autumn"