A Warm Fall: How To Prep Your Yard
Happy December from Desert Rose! While we may be at the end of the year, our weather has been unseasonably warm, extending our Fall growth periods. In light of this, we are going to go over the things you should do in order to prepare your yard for fall, given our extended season this year! Now that the crisp morning and evening air are here to stay and the leaves are finally dropping, it is time to change up your yard care routine.
The most important thing you want to do is to stay on top of the weeds. If you struggled to keep up with them during the summer months, you are really going to want to get them out soon, before they start to seed and cause more of a headache for next year. Hand pulling or digging up the roots is ideal. This is especially true if the weeds have already started seeding, since using a weed whacker will just help to spread the seeds.
If you have a lawn, you should complete a fall weed and feed or at the very minimum, a fall fertilizer. As always, follow the instructions on the fertilizer. Also, your lawn may only have a couple or so more mowings left for this year, so make sure your lawnmower has sharp blades for clean cuts, which helps to reduce stress on your lawn.
Roses and other flowers should be deadheaded as their last blooms fade for a cleaner look. Additionally, fall fertilizing for your trees and perennials is a must. For best results, make sure you use a fertilizer intended for fall and not an all purpose fertilizer (fall fertilizers will be high in Nitrogen). If you are someone who enjoys seeing the colorful fall leaves covering your yard that is fine, so long as you don’t leave them throughout the winter. The leaves can provide a safe place for pests and disease to survive the cold, winter months.
It is also a good idea to mulch perennials that are prone to freezing in the fall (ideally once all the leaves are down) to help insulate the plant's root system and reduce its chance of freezing. This is recommended for some varieties of roses, as well as some varieties of lavenders, but all plants can benefit from being mulched (as the mulch breaks down it provides nutrients to your plants).
And as tempting as it might be to start cutting shrubs and plants back, it is ideal for them to go completely dormant before you do any hard pruning. Lastly, don’t forget to shut your irrigation system down and disconnect all hoses from the faucets before it starts to freeze! Happy fall gardening from Desert Rose!