6 Things: Fall Landscaping Tips with Roots


The major growing season may be passed us for the year, but we’re still happy spending our weekends in the garden, the cooler weather and autumn sunshine a welcome respite from high summer. To celebrate the best of fall gardening, we brought back Nate Tuno, our favorite landscaping professional from Roots Landscape to chat through six super helpful tips for how to care for your garden and lawn this fall.

1. Plant! Plant! Plant!: “Fall is the perfect time to install new plant material,” Nate says. “If you’ve been putting off planting a perennial garden or landscape bed because of the hot dry summer, installing landscaping while the weather is cool and damp is a great idea. This way, when spring arrives, your beds will be all set to sprout new buds for the new growing season.”

2. Think about bulbs: “Fall has always been a big bulb season for us! It’s the perfect time to install daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, and crocus into your landscape bed and lawn areas. Remember to think of the color palette your landscape has in the spring when picking your bulbs. Daffodils have come along what from just white and yellow – colors like peach, orange and double white are big. We love planting alliums for their drama and structure. Bulbs come back every year so as long as you take care of them, they’ll be coming back year after year.”

3. Get to mulching: “At roots, we like to top dress all of our planting beds will fresh triple ground bark mulch for a few reasons. One, when your beds are mulched, it gives your home great curb appeal even in the winter months. Also, it helps protect your plants’ root systems so they stay warm and not exposed to the elements. Lastly, with the freeze and thaw of the cold weather, mulch can offset any unnecessary erosion issues that are caused by ice melt. Looks for mulch that is bark only and is dye and chemical free.”

4. Start cutting back: Nate says, “as the nights get longer and the temperatures drop, you’ll notice a lot of your perennials and deciduous shrubs are dying back or dropping leaves. Flush-cutting perennials is key to having a tidy landscape bed and inspiring healthy foliage for next year. This is also the time to prune and trim any small trees and shrubs. You want to avoid cutting any plant material that has set buds for next year though, because you’ll be cutting off next year’s flowers. Rhododendrons and Magnolias are prime examples to avoid pruning.”

5. Get creative with containers: “Popular plants like mums and cabbages are the go-to for many autumn containers, but we love introducing new plant material like crotons, asters, warm colored eucalyptus, and feathery grasses into our planters and window boxes. It gives our clients’ homes a more luxe, chic look that’s still understated and classic.”

6. Compost: “So you’ve cleaned your yard and beds, but now you have a pile of leaves and plant debris. What do you do with it? You can either throw them in the compost pile or you can use a lawn mower and mulch up this debris. Then you can spread this fresh composted plant material into your beds for a boost of nutrients! Avoid putting weedy material or lawn clippings in this mulching process so you don’t have weeds popping up once it warms up.”

Like this post? Check out 6 Things: 3 Garden Structures + 3 Plant Pairings6 Things: Fall Crops to Start From Seed Now, and Making Your Garden Great with Annie Guilfoyle

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