Fall Landscape Survival Tips: Beyond the Plants & Trees

4/16/2018 12:00:00 AM

japanese maple walkway in fallThe beauty and cooler weather of fall has many landscape owners thinking about how to tidy up their plants and preserve them over the winter. But the hardscape elements in the landscape also need preparation for the changing seasons in order to prevent damage, and to keep them looking their best. Although hardscaping seems permanent because it is fixed in the landscape, it can deteriorate over time without proper maintenance. Likewise, irrigation systems and the soil in your landscape need some basic maintenance, as well! A few simple tips show that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Inspect Hardscaping

Fall is a good time to inspect the stone features in your landscape. Pay special attention to any cracks in bricks, walls, and stone pathways. The cold temperatures of winter will only exacerbate these cracks and make them more difficult to repair next year. If you live in a region that receives snowfall, water freezing and thawing in these openings will damage and weaken the stone even more. Sealing small cracks will go a long way towards avoiding having to replace hardscaped elements.

Check the dirt and gravel around the hardscaping. If there are depressions where it has washed or worn away around walkways, walls, and other stone features, fill them before winter sets in, as cool temperatures, spring rains, and thaws can contribute to further erosion.

Soil

l Fall is a good time to test the acidity and alkaline levels of the soil in your landscape, especially if you didn’t get around to it during the busier spring planting and fertilizing months. Remember to stop fertilizing late in the summer, in order to discourage new growth that will be too delicate for the colder months. However, fall mulching is fine--you can even make your own by finely chopping up dead leaves in your lawn mower! Use a kit to test the pH level in your soil, and use sulfur or lime to adjust it before winter.

Irrigation Systems

If you have an irrigation system in your landscape, turn it off when temperatures are in danger of dipping below freezing. Drain any existing water remaining in the irrigation system. Freezing and expanding in the pipes can ruin them over the winter.

Fall Planting

Can’t get enough of planting? Fall can be a good time for some new plants to take root in a landscape, and with so many tempting plants on clearance at lawn and garden stories, it’s hard to resist adding some extra color, or something new! For ideas and inspiration about fall planting, visit here.

Located in South Elgin, Illinois, LaFarge Fox River Decorative Stone has been serving homeowners and businesses since 1934. Our team of experts in on hand to help prepare your landscaped walls and masonry for fall and winter. Visit our showroom and outdoor displays Mondays through Fridays from 7 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 7 am until noon, or visit our website for more information!

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