Late September is our traditional transition from summer to fall, and it’s natural to begin to look forward to cooler fall weather. Fall is a wonderful season to spend more time outside enjoying your landscape.
In September, many of us start to plan for a fall color change of flowers, to add new plantings, or to do a landscaping project. Fall landscape projects offer the benefit of plenty of time outdoors to enjoy the upgrade, with the region’s mild fall, winter and spring.
While it’s a great time to start projects and plan for the fall, early September is still usually very warm here, so don’t forget the basics of summer landscape care: water appropriately, ensure you have the proper amount of mulch, and keep up on the maintenance of your landscape.
Here is a to-do list for landscaping and gardening in the Dallas/North Texas region to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful.
Watering: Please check your irrigation system. Ensure it is working properly and all zones are being watered the proper amount and at the proper frequency. Your lawns and shrubs need about an inch of water per week during the summer months. Many local governments have water restrictions in place, so you may only be able to water twice a week and only during certain times during the day. Watering your lawn, plants and trees two to three times a week should be sufficient, but water deeply. Frequent, shallow watering does not promote a healthy root system. Water your lawns in the early morning if possible, as this prevents excessive evaporation of water. If you need to check, repair or upgrade your irrigations system, please call us. We have licensed irrigators and trained technicians to keep your landscape healthy and flourishing.
Mulching: Check to make sure you have 3-4 inches of quality mulch in your beds and around all shrubs and young trees. Mulch offers several advantages for your plants. First, it conserves water and prevents evaporation. Research indicates that mulch can reduce evaporation by up to 65%. Secondly, mulch lowers the temperature of the soil. Un-mulched soil can often exceed 100 degrees, which is hot enough to kill roots. Mulch can lower the temperature of the soil by as much as 10 degrees up to several inches deep. Finally, mulch helps to prevent weeds, which also compete for water with your plants.
Lawn Mowing: The best looking lawns will be those that are mowed regularly. Continue to mow your warm season turf grasses every 5 to 7 days. Bermuda should be maintained at 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches, while St Augustine at 2-1/2 inches in full sun and 3 to 3-1/2 inches in the shade. Keep mower blades sharp, and don’t cut more than one-third of the length of the grass blade during a single mowing session.
Fertilizer & Weed Control: September is the last month to fertilize your warm season grasses for the year. You should also apply pre-emergent weed control this month. Two pre-emergents are recommended. The first pre-emergent is to control cool season weeds like bluegrass, rye and rescuegrass (don’t apply this pre-emergent if you will be over-seeding your lawn). The second pre-emergent is to control broad leaf weeds. While both of these pre-emergents can be applied on the same day, followed by normal watering, do not mix these pre-emergent products together. Apply the products separately.
Planting: You may wish to start planning for your fall color change. We generally recommend planting pansies and ornamental kale for heartiness and beautiful fall colors. While these are best planted in mid-October, it’s not too early to call us to schedule your fall planting. We get very busy in October with fall plantings.
Pruning: While you should avoid any major pruning during the hot summer months, continue to prune out dead or broken branches from your woody, ornamental trees and shrubs. Continue to prune or cut back spent flowers on annuals and perennials to encourage fall blooms.
Insects, Diseases and Fungus: For St. Augustine grass, be on the lookout for Chinch Bugs from May through September. Watch for webworms on trees, especially pecans and mulberries, and treat as necessary.
Landscaping Projects: As the summer heat wanes, many of us start to consider landscaping projects to improve the appearance and value of our properties. These projects could include the installation of new landscaping such as shrubs, trees and flowers. Many also consider hardscaping projects like patios, stone borders and outdoor kitchens to beautify their outdoor spaces. You may wish to consider some current trends in landscaping and design, such as creating a more natural and sustainable environment, using native plantings, attracting and sustaining birds and bees, and reducing water and irrigation requirements. As with fall plantings, we get very busy during the fall installing landscaping projects for our customers. If you are planning a project for the fall, it’s not to soon to call us so that we can help you plan your project and get it scheduled to meet your needs.
We’re Here to Help: If you need any assistance, we are here to help. High Quality Landscape Services has been creating beautiful landscapes and providing exceptional service to Dallas residential and commercial customers for 45 years. If you need landscaping services, maintenance, irrigation or chemical control, let us put our experience to work for you to create a beautiful landscape.