Fall Yard Maintenance

Fall Yard Maintenance

Although September still gives us plenty of beauty in the landscape, fall is just around the corner and the end of the gardening season in near. Here are a few landscape tips to help you head into autumn.

  • Fertilize lawn.
  • Overseed bare or thin spots in lawn.
  • Continue mowing operations.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Divide overgrown perennials and ornamental grasses.
  • Inspect sprinkler system operation, adjust timing as needed.

The end of October is the finish line for the gardening season. This is the time to rake leaves, shut down the irrigation, and rake the planting beds. Here’s a few checklist items to help you through this process.

  • Follow temporary draining instructions for sprinkler system (page 9), as temperatures dictate.
  • Clean off tops of dried perennials.
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
  • Adjust staking of new trees.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Rake leaves (if not cleaned up, fallen leaves can be harmful to sod and often can harbor insects and diseases harmful to plants).
  • Reduce watering times on sprinkler zones.

November is the time to put your garden to rest for the winter by mulching beds and wrapping trees. Here’s a few checklist items for garden chores of the month to help you.

  • Mulch roses and tender perennials.
  • Rake leaves
  • Cut back perennials to 2-3” from the ground.
  • Wrap trees, especially aspens in deer areas.
  • Drain (blow out) sprinkler system.
  • Remove annuals.

Irrigation Shutdown

Each fall, before the first hard freeze, sprinkler systems are “blown out.” This happens in regions where frost in the ground reaches below the depth of the irrigation pipes. In Colorado Springs, blowouts are usually done in October and November.

It’s convenient to delay the irrigation shut down as long as possible so that you limit the amount of time that you have to water by hand. When the night temperatures start dropping below freezing, but the hard freezes haven’t quite yet set in, it is important to temporarily drain your system. This removes most of the water from the back flow preventer so that it doesn’t freeze, expand, and break. However, it doesn’t remove the water from the underground pipes, which is only done during the blowout with an air compressor.