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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Monday, October 19, 2015

Top 10 Tips for Fall

by David Snodgrass, president of Dennis' 7 Dees Landscaping

Fall is the time to prepare your landscape for the rest of the year, winter through summer. David Snodgrass, an expert landscaper with 40+ years in the business, offers these fall tips to help you prepare your yard this season.

1.    Fall is a great time to evaluate your landscape.  
Are there areas that are out of date, plants that are overgrown or missing plants due to insect, disease or other issues?  Does your lawn need rejuvenating, like aeration and overseeding, or entire replacement with new sod?  Fall is the best season to prepare, due to cooler temperatures and wet weather, allowing new plantings to establish quickly before winter and the next stressful summer weather arrives.

2.    With fall, comes leaves!  
Leaves are synonymous with fall, so remove leaves from your lawn regularly to prevent suffocating the turf.  Blow off walks frequently to prevent slippery conditions.

3.    Fall pruning
When it comes to fall pruning and the heat of summer has passed, take a good look at all of the shrubs and ground covers on your property and give them one last pruning (either hand snipping for natural appearance, or shearing when appropriate).  Get them ready to ‘put to bed’ for a long winter.  Be sure to cut back perennials to near soil level, once they begin to change colors, and take proper steps to ensure that your plants are not distressed from pruning, especially shrubs and trees.

4.    Prepare for dormant season with tree pruning.
Observe limbs that create visibility and clearance issues for foot or vehicle traffic.  Consider pruning to improve security.  Are there limbs that are susceptible during upcoming winter storms?  Prune now before limbs break, creating a new problem.

5.    Freshly mulched beds give a polished finish and help protect through winter.
After all pruning is completed and leaves are removed, fresh mulch gives a nice finished look for the coming holiday seasons.
6.    Fertilize your lawn
Before lawns go dormant, it’s essential that they receive a good quality, slow release fertilizer, formulated to slowly release all winter, establishing a deep root system and prolonging good color into spring.

7.    Be sure to winterize your irrigation system
Checking your valves and draining all of the water out of any irrigation components that might freeze is key to preventing damage during winter months.

8.    Replace your landscape light bulbs

As we head into darker winter months, not only does lighting result in the maximum enjoyment of your landscaping during the dark hours of winter but also improves security for your property and guests.  

9.    Add Fall color
Summer color quickly fades with a change in fall weather; consider adding fall color and a variety of bulbs for early spring color. 

10.    Plan now for the quick-to-arrive snow and ice season.   
Who knows what this winter will bring? Is your snow equipment in good working order?  Snow shovels ready for another year?  Ice Melt on hand?  Even typically warmer climates can get surprised by a winter storm, so some preparations are a good idea regardless of where in the U.S. you live.