It’s been a beautiful September in Calgary so far, with seasonal temperatures, sunny days, and plenty of colour and pop still accenting our gardens. That said, Calgary has received a couple of frost warnings recently, so in order to keep your gardens damage-free it’s time to start watching nighttime temperatures closely. If a frost warning is in effect, cover your annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs.
Fall landscaping means shutting down your property for the winter in a way that will allow you to get started off on the right foot in the spring. Here are a few things we advise property owners do to for the fall landscaping season in order to have a spectacular summer.
Going through your property and digging out as many weeds as you can in the fall will pay off big dividends in the spring. You’ll end up with far fewer weeds and they will be much more easy to manage. Not sure what is a weed and what isn’t? Try our handy tip list. You can compost most weeds except for those that have been deemed noxious, such as the creeping bellflower, which has become a problem in Calgary. Noxious weeds need to be bagged separately, sealed up tightly, and placed in the regular garbage.
Harvest veggies and herbs
We’ve seen some great photos on social media feeds of the amazing bounties people have been collecting from their gardens. The unusually hot weather helped zucchinis grow to be humungous, tomatoes to proliferate, and strawberries to keep bursting out well into September. As the days shorten and evenings become cooler, plants will stop producing. Once you have gotten your last potato out of the ground, remove the dead and dying plants for the winter so that they don’t attract bugs and pests. Compost everything, of course, and perform one final last weeding to clean your beds up as best you can. Consider adding a thin layer of mulch to protect the soil throughout the winter.
We all have to rake and clear the fallen leaves on our properties for our fall landscaping tasks, as it makes spring clean ups much less arduous. The reason we need to clean these up is because they are rife with many bugs and pests, and leaving them for the winter allows for the perfect breeding environment in the spring. Many don’t realize that a fall raking can also help protect the water quality, as our constant freezing and thawing cycles through the winter can cause dead plants to release water-soluble phosphates and nitrates that can end up in the water after spring melts and rains.
Fertilize and seed your lawn
As part of our fall landscaping and regular landscape maintenance services, every August we apply a second application of fertilizer to our residential and commercial clients’ lawns. Fertilizing in the fall give your grass the nutrients it needs to form deeper, stronger roots to be better able to survive the Canadian winter.
It’s also a great time to tackle your bald, yellow spots and pet damage. Put down some top soil where grass is sparse and rake in a healthy amount of grass seed. It is still warm enough for the seed to germinate and take root. You can also spread seed throughout your full lawn to leave you with a healthy green expanse come spring. Make sure to water regularly until the new grass has fully taken root, and try to keep kids and pets away from treated areas.
The benefits of mulch are myriad. It does what it’s supposed to do, and we recommend it for the vast majority of landscape designs we work on. Mulch is an excellent way to protect your plants, save on water, and add visual appeal to your yard. It acts as insulation, forming a protective barrier between your soil and the air, quite a bit like a blanket. It’s a temperature regulator, keeping the soil warm during the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps keep weeds down, preventing them from coming up by depriving them of the light they need to thrive. Mulch also stops new weeds from being brought in by the wind and other germinator
Cut back your perennials
In the fall, perennials need to be cut back close to the ground in order to prevent bugs and pests from getting into the dead and dying foliage. Remember to use clean and sharp shears to stop any spread of disease from on plant to another and to reduce the chances of damage.
Southeast Calgary commercial and residential landscaping and snow removal services
Mirage Landscaping is a full-service, year-round, property maintenance company. We provide extensive lawn care maintenance, landscape construction services, and snow removal services to our commercial and residential clients.
We live and love to work in the southeast area of Calgary, including the communities of:
Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park.