Don't get cute with leaf pick-up. When you use a rake and tarps, make sure all of your raking is towards your tarp. I see it all the time. People rake leaves into beautiful pyramids and THEN bring in a tarp. That's too cute.
For best results, I place my first tarp into the leaf pile and then fill it up. My second tarp is for any remnants. Then I move on. When the pile is huge, you can even kick the leaves in.
The same goes for backpack blowing. Blow your leaves into a decent pile for easy pick-up but don't overdo it. We don't want to blow gorgeous pyramids.
Make sure you use a decent rake. This is a bad time for 8" rake use.
When your trees are still shedding leaves, don't stress. Just pick up what you can. But once the tree is bare then we clean-up around it really well.
I love the fall! The colours are great and the air is cooler. Today I even got to see salmon spawning in a creek. The sunshine was a huge bonus. So try to enjoy the fall.
I love the fall colours in the landscape. Below are some of my favourite landscape trees. We start with red maple (Acer rubrum), then yellow katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), followed by Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) and finishing with Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum).
What are your favourite trees?
It's fall and lawn care is slowly winding down. The actual end of mowing will depend on November temperatures. But we before we stop mowing it's a good idea to apply good winter fertilizer.
Winter lawn fertilizers are formulated to strengthen the roots which should lead to a nice looking lawn next year. We obviously don't want any growth right now.
Fertilizer application is great on rainy days as long as you can keep your spreader dry. Also make sure your spreader is properly calibrated.
Once you're done, don't forget to blow any prills off driveways and sidewalks.
Sometimes your best plans for the day get derailed by events that are beyond your control. Like today, October 11, 2017. I had a truck full of great-looking pansies and ornamental kale but as I got closer to my sites it wasn't looking good. A freak hailstorm had deposited something like 2" of ice on the ground. Not exactly the best conditions for planting.
So all I could do was prepare the beds by pulling all summer annuals and cultivating. Slightly frustrated, it turned out to be a short day. Since I got home well-before school let out, I walked over to pick up my daughter from school and we enjoyed our walk in the sun.
I suspect landscaping in the age of Global Warming will be challenging. This past summer was hot and hazy from forest fires; now we get October hailstorms. I wonder what this winter will bring.
If you have any clean ups left to do in your gardens, I suggest you get to it while you can.
It's early October but there is still some colour left in our West Coast landscapes. It warmed me up just to be able to shoot these photos. What colour remains in your gardens?
Fall is a great time to renovate your lawn. It's still warm enough for seed to germinate, assuming you use good quality seed. Some fast-germinating seed mixes germinate in seven days.
Why renovate your lawn? One idea is to repair dog-damaged lawn areas. Unfortunately, the family dog is very likely to abuse your lawn again. Grass can't handle the daily urine assault and burns. Unless you water the dog spot religiously. In practice this happens very rarely. People are just too busy.
But hey, why not try. Put down a thin layer of good soil. Something like turf mix. Rake it over to even it or roll it. Then overseed and water. You should have germination in 7-14 days.
Below is one home owner's renovation. Note how the new soil doesn't smother the existing turf islands. New soil is nicely raked in.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT
Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist and ISA certified arborist