When the summer season comes to a close, the days get shorter, and the Florida temperatures cool a bit, it’s easy to assume you can pay a little less attention to your landscaping. However, fall landscaping is ever-important if you want to see everything flourish in the spring.
Why Now Is The Best Time For Landscaping In Florida
Florida’s tropical climate means it has unique landscaping maintenance needs throughout the year. The temperatures may cool slightly during autumn, and some of the humidity will subside, but you still have ample sunshine. Naturally, it works out well to take care of certain landscaping tasks in the fall when the weather is most enjoyable. Plus, you’re going to see fewer rainy days, which will give you the opportunity to tackle some things you can’t do during the summer.
Things to Do to Your Fall Landscape
Giving your landscaping a healthy boost in the fall is a surefire way to make sure everything is ready when spring creeps in. Multiple fall landscape projects should be on your agenda.
Aerate the Soil
Throughout the year, your soil and grass go through a lot. It’s being trampled on by you and your family, rolled over by lawn equipment, and otherwise taking a lot of direct stress. By the time fall shows up, the grass and its roots can be compacted, which can affect how it grows going forward. Aeration involves using special equipment to perforate the ground with a series of shallow indentations.
Aeration does two things; it helps loosen those compacted grassroots and opens up the ground so it is more receptive to things like moisture, fertilizer, and seed. Having the soil in your yard aerated during your fall landscaping is giving it a healthier start for the following spring.
Even though Florida tends to have sandy loam soil, which is a collaboration of sand, clay, and silt and doesn’t get compacted so easily, aeration can still be necessary. One thing to keep in mind is when sandy loam needs aeration and you are using a pre-emergent to deter turf weeds, aeration must be done first. Aeration must be done before applying the pre-emergent because if you aerate after the pre-emergent application, you will ruin the herbicidal barrier you just created.
Perform Seeding and Overseeding during Fall Landscaping
Fall is the perfect time to consider either seeding or overseeding your lawn because it’s easier for the young root systems to thrive outside of the high temperatures of summer. In the most basic terms, seeding just means implementing new grass seed of the same type so it will be producing nice and strong by spring, and traditional seeding tends to involve some type of aeration first so the seeds sprout closer to the existing root systems.
Overseeding involves simply scattering seed on the top of the ground without disturbing the turf or soil. Whether you opt for seeding or overseeding, there are benefits to doing so, according to the University of Michigan. For instance, overseeding an existing patch of grass can help that patch of grass retain more moisture in the soil and return valuable nutrients to the ground, which will also be used for existing grass support.
Check the Health of the Soil
Autumn is a good time to have the health of your soil tested, and this is not a complicated process. Having the soil professionally tested yields valuable insight into what nutrients are missing, if the pH balance is appropriate to support growth, and more. These particular factors are critical to know.
For example, if the pH level is too high, plants can suffer major deficiencies because vital nutrients in the soil are basically burned up before the plant can utilize anything. If you are using the autumn season to really get your lawn and landscape healthy, the soil test is something you don’t want to skimp. The results give direction on what should be done when you fertilize the ground.
Fertilize the Ground As Needed
Experts tend to recommend fertilizing the landscape in the fall, even though there are people who choose to fertilize at multiple times of the year. When you fertilize in the fall, you are adding the vital nutrients to the ground when the growth processes of the plants are slower. What you are attempting to do with fall landscape fertilization is give the soil what it needs to support healthy growth through the year.
When warmer temps and longer days return, those plants will kick back into high gear and start draining the soil of those nutrients you injected. If you fertilize when the plants are at their peak growth times, the soil may not get so much of the benefit before the plants use everything up.
Plant More Delicate Plants
In Florida’s climate, autumn is still plenty warm enough to get young plants started if you’re planning to make some changes to the plant aspect of your landscape design. In fact, planting more delicate young plants in your fall landscape will give them time to get a good root system established before the hot, humid days of summer roll around.
The tropical Florida climate can be brutal on some of the more delicate plants when they are just getting started. If you’ve wanted to plant some young ivy, frilly shrubs, or even small trees, fall can be the best time to do so. Florida offers a lot of gorgeous native flora and fauna, but plants from other climates can easily be grown here if they are given a gentle start, and fall is a good time for that. The experts at ASI can help you determine which delicate plants thrive better when planted in the fall if you are a little unsure.
Trust the Professionals at ASI Landscape Management for Your Fall Landscaping Needs
Autumn, turns to winter, and winter eventually blooms into spring. To ensure your Florida landscape is aptly prepared to remain healthy and vibrant in the spring, fall landscaping is the key and ASI Landscape Management is fully capable of helping you make that happen.
Boasting many years of both commercial and residential landscaping service experience, our skilled team has a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to generate a beautiful, healthy landscape in the sometimes harsh Florida climate. Reach out to us at ASI Landscape Management—let’s talk about your fall landscaping plans!