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Mulch your leaves

Mulch your leaves
  • Don’t hurt your back bagging leaves. There’s a better way–you might even be able to avoid raking altogether. But you can’t simply leave everything as it is or you risk suffocating your lawn by leaving it under a layer of leaves. Try mulching; it’s good for your landscape and easier on you.
  • When the leaves have fallen and are dry—don’t mow wet leaves—try mowing your lawn without the grass catcher. If you’ve got a mulch setting on your mower, make sure you’ve got it set. If you’ve got a lot of leaves and don’t have a mulch setting, it might take an extra pass or two with the mower to break up all of the leaves. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly they will decompose. Those biodegradable fragments return nutrients to your landscape, supporting root growth, micro-organisms, and worms.
  • Mulched leaves and grass clippings also help regulate the soil temperature when it gets cold, retain moisture in soil on dry days, and can reduce weed propagation next year.
  • Got piles of fallen leaves in your flowerbeds? You might need to use a rake or blower to move those leaves onto your lawn before you mulch or mow. If you end up with too much mulched material in piles on the lawn, put it right back onto those flowerbeds, in garden areas or around trees and shrubs.
  • Mulching is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle at one time, and with less effort than bagging leaves.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Stay out later

Stay out later
  • Imagine yourself relaxing on the terrace with a mug of tea or apple cider as you enjoy the cooler nights of autumn in Colorado. But fumbling in the dark with a mug of hot liquid is not a good idea. And candles or torches can be a hazard in our fire-prone state.
  • Despite continuing warm temperatures, shorter days can limit the time we spend outdoors this fall. One way to extend the time outdoors is with landscape lighting. It’s an investment in safety and curb appeal, and it can add to your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.
  • Pathway lights make it possible to navigate your landscape safely. Patio lighting can make your yard attractive and cozy past sundown. Plus, technological advances like LED bulbs and quality solar-powered fixtures have made landscape lighting more efficient than ever.
  • Talk with a landscape professional about the right lighting to enhance your landscape and improve your time outdoors this fall.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Get ready for fall

Get ready for fall

It’s a good time to put in some work to help your landscape stay healthy as it heads into dormancy for the winter. It’s still warm, but autumn begins next week and we look forward to cooler days ahead. A little care now will help make your lawn hardier so that it will return next spring as vibrant as ever.

Here are some steps to consider. Be sure to talk with a landscape professional about which of these steps are important for your landscape:

  • Adjust the sprinkler timer to water less. Daylight hours are growing shorter, overnight temps are getting cooler and day-time temps will become more moderate. Don’t stop watering altogether but do adjust watering frequency and length. Make changes according to the temperature—not by the date. Keep in mind that if you add any new plants this fall, those will be the exception as they are still becoming established.
  • Zap weeds. Here’s your last chance this year to take care of weeds. The weeds you eliminate this fall are weeds you won’t see at the start of next season.
  • Apply a final application of fertilizer. Using the same fertilizer formulation you used earlier this season is fine. But if you need to buy more fertilizer, look for one high in nitrogen and potassium which are good for healthy roots.
  • Core aerate the lawn before winterizing the sprinkler system. Aeration pulls plugs of soil and sod out of the lawn and these holes open the soil so that roots can take in maximum moisture during the winter.
  • Get expert help if you have had fungus or other turf disease or insect problems this summer. Have problems properly diagnosed so you know what to do now and possibly into next spring to get things under control for good.

Contact your landscape professional to help you get your landscape ready to be tucked in for winter. If you have an irrigation system, schedule your winterization service now, before schedules are booked up.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Time for a color change

Time for a color change

Last week we talked about planting now for next spring. If you want some seasonal color now, try a fall-themed container garden. You can make your own decorative creation with traditional containers: a ceramic planter, a window box, or a hanging pot. Or get creative and upcycle things you’ve got in the garage, like an old wheelbarrow, metal bucket or tire. You can even repurpose a football or football helmet into an interesting centerpiece for your outdoor table.

Before you plant

  • Clean out previously used containers by removing summer-flowering annuals and debris.
  • If adding a new container to your home, make sure it has proper drainage.
  • Prepare the soil. Consider adding some compost to help retain moisture.
  • Add a time-release fertilizer.

Recommendations for adding autumn color

  • Ornamental cabbage and kale are good choices, as they do well in fall temperatures and provide interesting foliage. They make great combos with blooming plants in containers.
  • Pansies make it easy to add color. Pansies are available in many colors, so they can fit just about any color scheme you have in mind. Think orange and blue for containers to celebrate the home team in football or a combo in the colors of your local high school or college. You can even find orange and black pansies to complement your Halloween décor.
  • Bring on the chrysanthemums. Mums are an easy way to add fall color. Several containers in the same or different colors grouped together provide mounds of colorful impact and take little time. Group mums in large baskets or repurpose a bench to give them some height and place them in a row. Galvanized buckets and oval bins are also great for grouping plants as one large mass of color.

Too busy for DIY?

If you don’t have the time to create a custom container garden for your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some seasonal color. Consult a landscape professional about container garden services. Or visit your local garden center for pre-made containers you can simply bring home and put into place.

It’s still hot out there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get a head start on creating containers with warm autumn colors. In Colorado, hot-cider-sipping weather could be just around the corner.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Add some plants

Add some plants

The hottest days of the summer are over, and things should be cooling down soon. It’s a good time to add plants to our landscapes. Since irrigation systems will still be running for a couple more months, there’s time to water new plants and help them get established before winter.

  • Planting now gives new plants a head-start on next growing season. When spring comes around, they’ll be established and ready to take off and grow.
  • Choose the right plants. Look for plants that can thrive in Colorado. Our elevation and at times harsh environment can be a challenge for plants. And with ever-present drought, it’s important to choose plants with low water requirements. Don’t limit yourself to flowering perennials, either. Consider adding trees or shrubs to your landscape, too.
  • Be flexible. A local nursery or garden center or a landscape professional can guide you to plants that will enhance your landscape despite the challenges. But have a few choices in mind; supplies may be limited. Many have turned to gardening and renovating their landscapes during the pandemic, and growers can’t make new plants overnight.

Follow this checklist when establishing plants now or any time of year:

  • Place plants according to the micro-environments within your landscape. Match plant needs to locations in the yard that provide sun or shade, good or poor drainage, shelter from buildings, etc.
  • Know how large plants will be at maturity and avoid placing soon-to-be large plants too close together. Give them the space they need to grow without being overcrowded.
  • Group plants with similar water requirements together so you can water them efficiently without over-watering some or under-watering others.
  • Remember that even very low-water plants require regular drinks of water to become established. Make sure they get established before cutting back to little to no water.
  • Place mulch around newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials to help retain moisture.
  • After the sprinkler system is winterized, check plants regularly and water as needed especially during times with little or no precipitation.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Pet-friendly landscapes

 

Pet-friendly landscapes

Yesterday was National Dog Day–a good time to think about how to keep our four-legged friends safe while maintaining our landscapes.

  • Avoid potentially dangerous plants

Many dogs dig up or chew bulbs and plants. If your dog is a curious type who likes to dig or taste what’s growing, keep dangerous plants in an area that pups can’t access or avoid them altogether. Some plants that could make your dog sick:

  • Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils or tubers like dahlias and irises
  • Grapes, peach stones, and apple seeds
  • Chrysanthemums, clematis, and horse chestnut tree

ASPCA offers a list on their website of plants that are potentially toxic to dogs. A landscape professional can also help you choose the right plants to keep your yard beautiful and your dog safe.

  • Provide shade

When the sun is shining, dogs need a place to escape the heat. If you don’t have mature trees to offer shade, be sure your pet has access to a covered porch, patio, or other shade structure so they can cool off when they aren’t sunning themselves.

  • Make water available

Make sure that your dog has access to fresh, clean water when they are outside playing or even just lying in the sun. If you have a water feature, make sure the products used to keep it clean are safe for pets.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Start late-season crops now

Start late-season crops now

Want your harvest to continue into the fall? Start some leafy greens, herbs, broccoli and root crops now. These plants aren’t made for the long and intensely hot days of summer. Late-summer, with cooling night-time temps and shorter days with less sunshine, offers the right conditions. 

  • A note on root crops such as beets, carrots and radishes

Since root crops take time to develop, read the seed packets and look for varieties that mature in 60 days or less. Root crops can withstand light frost and with deep ground freeze protection can even be picked well into the winter.

  • Start an herb container garden

Basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil and dill are great herbs to plant in late August. Just know they won’t survive a frost unless you prepare them. By planting them in containers that can be easily moved, they can be brought indoors for overnight frost protection. Whether you move them inside or cover them outdoors, herbs can keep offering their flavorful harvest right up until a killing freeze. Bring containers indoors to enjoy them throughout the winter.

  • Tips for late-season planting:
  • The most important step to get plants established is to keep seeds and seedlings evenly moist until the plants are a few weeks old.
  • Make sure the sprinkler system is adjusted to water seeded areas evenly.
  • Schedule watering times carefully to avoid over- or under-watering new seeds.
  • Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every other week.
  • Apply a layer of well-seasoned compost to nurture the soil.

Plan ahead for frost protection

With the danger of early frost increasing throughout September, it’s important to be ready with frost protection before you hear the freeze warning a few hours before frost.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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