I was at a new client’s house yesterday inspecting the finishing touches on a pond that we had just installed in his back yard. It was a beautiful pond designed to look very natural with aspen and native plantings surrounding a brook that cascaded down through wild flowers finally spilling out into a wonderful pond. I told him that after we flushed out the pond one last time, we would start up the water feature so that he could enjoy it for a month or so before it needed to be winterized for the season. He responded with surprise; saying, “no way, it is almost September and I always turn off my irrigation system about now and just wait for the leaves to fall.” I responded “The leaves haven’t even turned yellow yet! It is unthinkable to end the growing season before nature decides.” After some convincing, he allowed us to finish preparing his brand new pond, fertilize all of the plants and trees in his landscape, and continue mowing for the next six weeks. I am sure that he will be happy that he made this decision to finish the season well.
I have found that the folks here in Casper tend to stop taking care of their landscapes around the same time that school starts each year when everyone assumes that it is fall season. This poor assumption can have devastating consequences for the plants in your landscape that are trying to finish their important growth cycle.
- Fall is one of the most important times of the year to fertilize. The root system is storing energy for next year during the fall, so fertilizer is put to the best use in a plant during the fall season. You should use only the best fertilizer because cheap fertilizer can damage your soil profile.
- Your yard needs 2 pounds of slow release nitrogen for every 1000 square feet of lawn which should be applied during the fall. You should have a lawn care expert fertilizing your turf grass because they have access to the finest fertilizers and the latest technological advances in the industry.
- Trees need a different formulation of fertilizer than your lawn. You should have a certified arborist fertilizing your trees every fall. Deep root fertilization technology is very beneficial in Casper’s compact clay soil. This technology breaks up the clay allowing the roots to expand and promotes a habitat for the healthy mychorrizal organisms that sustain the life of your trees.
- Don’t turn off and winterize your irrigation system until the night temperatures are consistently dropping to 40 degrees: this historically occurs sometime in October here in Casper. Your landscape needs 1 gallon of water on each square foot every single week during the growing season.
Your landscape is depending on you to finish well for the season.