As we enter the increasingly colder months during this fall season and await the coming winter with its shorter and evermore blustery days, striking colors start to emerge around us like a golden and crimson blanket covering our hills and valleys. No doubt the transitioning hues of the tree leaves is just one of the many highlights of living in the Pacific Northwest. However, it soon turns to the messiest and most critical time of year for lawn care and landscape bed maintenance. It is at this time that our crews will have a busier workload due to the removal of those beautiful fallen leaves, in addition to a late-season push of broadleaf weeds that we will be on the lookout for. Although there will be windy days where the leaves seem to fall faster than we can rake them up, and at times it might leave the appearance that we haven’t picked anything up at all, our current valued customers, as well as our welcomed future clients, can rest assured that we will be victorious in our efforts to purge these piles of pesky plummeted plant life and keep your yards and beds as tidy as possible year-round.
Leaf pickup is important for more than just aesthetic reasons as well. In lawns, if left for too many days, they can smother lawn and roots that can, in turn, create a habitat for fungus and disease, and can rob the lawn of much-needed oxygen and nutrients for proper winterization. This is a large part of the reason we do not mow leaves into the lawn. Instead, we will be vigilant to remove and recycle them. Around tree bases, if the leaves are allowed to collect for an extended amount of time, like the lawn, it too will invite rot and fungi to set into their crowns (the trunk area closest to ground level). For this reason, we will rake and/or blow through the beds depending on the level of moisture, and keep the areas around your plants looking fresh.
But wait, there’s more! Throughout these autumn months, we will also begin to align our focus on to tasks such as ornamental tree pruning, trimming of shrubs, ground covers, perennials, and fruit trees. It is also crucial that we also ascertain any plants in our customers’ landscapes that might be underperforming and make recommendations for removal and replacement if needed. Other areas that may be of interest for the winterization of your lawn include aeration and lime application. Dry, cold, and breezy winter days can create drought stress and compaction in your turf areas; aeration can be a great way to prepare the lawn to receive the water and nutrients it needs for best winter performance. Lime applications will help to neutralize the acidity in the lawn which comes from rainfall, trees, and leaves. Lime furthermore lends support to make the much-needed nitrogen molecules more available to the plants themselves and will aid in keeping the nice color as well as decreasing an environment for things like moss and mold in the lawn.
After leaf drop is complete, winter can be a very good time to apply new mulch to the planting beds, creating some desired insulation and much-needed nutrients for healthy spring blooms. As temperatures cool, lawn growth will slow down and we will not have to mow as often. In most cases, we will start to skip mowing every other week by sometime in November, with it trailing off altogether by December. Our visits will turn to fine-tuning the beds, late winter pruning, planting projects, and overall landscape cleanliness. We will also be focusing some time at the end of the year on training for all our teams and improving our safety programs.
If you are interested in starting maintenance to your lawn or adding any of the additional services or recommendations mentioned here, contact Blessing Landscapes and we’d be happy to come to your home and discuss with you our plethora of available options.