Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top 10 Landscaping Tips for the Transition to Fall

As Summer draws to a close and Autumn gears up in metro-Atlanta, it's the perfect time to give the landscape some attention. Crabapple LandscapExpert think this list of 10 landscaping tips will help with the transition. 

1. Plant a cool-season veggie garden this fall
Wow Thanksgiving guests with Arugula and radishes from the garden! Plant radish and cilantro seeds now, and starts of lettuce, endive and arugula, along with garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, even Brussels sprouts. Be sure to keep them watered as they get established.

2. Keep an eye on rainfall.
Combined rain and watering should equal 1 inch per week. If it doesn’t rain, water new transplants and veggies along with perennials, shrubs and trees for best transplanting success.

3. Compost! Compost! Compost!
Pull out spent tomatoes and ragged zinnias, knock the soil off of the root balls of summer veggies and annuals, and chop them up before putting them in the compost bin. Raked autumn leaves should be added to keep the green to brown ratio (nitrogen : carbohydrate) in balance.  (BTW, diseased plants, nematode-knotted tomato roots and weeds with seeds should be put in a plastic bag and trashed, not composted.)

3. Divide and/or plant perennials
Fall is the perfect time to dig up and replant all kinds of overgrown perennial flowers. Often there’s enough to share with the neighbors. Perennials are lower maintenance than annuals, staying in place and reblooming year after year, so try some new ones at the local independent garden center.

4. Fall is the best time to plant woody ornamentals
Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees because the soil temperature is warm from the summer and that promotes root growth, while the air temperatures are cooling down, decreasing transpiration.  Plus, deciduous trees and shrubs are losing their colorful leaves, making them even less prone to wilting or drying out.

Dig large, generous holes, only as deep as the nursery pot, but three times as wide – think of the size of a hula hoop laid on the ground. Water in thoroughly and mulch with pine bark or pine straw. Then keep them watered until spring if it doesn’t rain instead.  

5. Cool season lawns are revving up
Crabapple fertilizes and waters Fescue lawns that do their best growing during the cool seasons in Hotlanta. We rake off fallen leaves and dead grass, while patching worn areas with fresh hybrid Fescue grass seed covered with straw. Fescues are mowed high to provide good root growth. 

6. Warm season lawns are going dormant
Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine lawns are turning that comforting tan color that shows they are dormant. Warm season lawns can be over-sown with annual rye grass or even sprayed green if desired. Call your Crabapple Rep to discuss. 

7. Eliminate broad leaf weeds in lawns
Spot-treat broad leaf weeds already growing in the lawn with a post-emergent herbicide. The green weeds are particularly unsightly in dormant warm season lawns. 

8. Add spring-flowering bulbs to the landscape
In addition to pansies, add daffodils and tulips to add brilliant color early next spring. You will hardly notice winter if the daffodils start blooming in January! Smaller bulbs like hyacinths, crocus, grape hyacinths and blue star also add interest. If you have critters (chipmunks, squirrels, pine voles, mice) that eat the tulip bulbs, plant cloves of garlic along with the flower bulbs to repel them. Daffodils (Narcissus) are poisonous to critters and reliably perennial, so they are a superb choice for metro-Atlanta.

9. Mulch after planting to provide many benefits
In addition to adding a layer of insulation, mulch maintains the moisture level and much more. Read more on this Crabapple Blog -- all about organicmulch.

Corona By-Pass Pruners
10. Pruning – Don’t even think about it now!
Pruning now will stimulate ‘dormant buds to break’ below the cut and grow into tender little twigs. These are then subject to cold damage by low temperatures in the coming winter season. Sharpen the pruners now, but wait until February to make the cuts.  

These landscaping tips will help your landscape A little gardeningmaintenance or help from Crabpple LandscapExperts will help with the seasonal transition. 


  1. This is actually so unique that many people don't realize! When fall comes, you want to make sure you yard is still looking good. These ideas will really help me stay up to date with my landscaping as the season changes!
    Celine |

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