Top 10 landscaping tips to transition from summer to fall

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As the summer begins to wind down in Atlanta, it's important for you to prepare your landscape for the...

As the summer begins to wind down in Atlanta, it's important for you to prepare your landscape for the cooler fall weather. Here is a list of the top 10 landscaping tips you can use to make sure the outside of your property makes the weather transition.

During the summer, your beautiful spring tree blooms gave way to regular leaves. However, summer temperatures and outdoor events can take a toll on your landscape. As the seasons transition, you want to make sure you don't make any mistakes that will have everyone talking about your yard for the wrong reasons. You want to fortify your lawn and garden to prepare for the cool temperatures and spring time.

1. Prepare your compost

Remove all the dead or dying branches, annuals and leaves from your landscape. Place them in two piles. Throw away any branches, shrubs or annuals you noticed that are insect-infested or diseased. Place the rest into a compost pile. You can use the composite in the spring.

2. Plant perennials

Late summer is the perfect time to plant perennials such as angelica, boltonia, salvia and aster. They are low-maintenance, lovely flowers that work well in any weather Atlanta decides to have. As you plant, separate your existing spring and summer-blooming plants into different areas. Perennials with roots that spread are the best candidates for separation. You should divide and replant any plants that are healthy, young on the outside or have dead growth in the middle.

Be creative as you plant and replant. Instead of straightforward lines, use curving lines. This is great for a landscape since some plants tend to grow the way they want instead of the direction you want them to go. Besides, curving lines provide a more creative, attractive landscape.

3. Let trees and shrubs shine in your landscape

You can also plant shrubs and trees to add to your landscape. Late summer is usually a great time to find them on sale. Besides the price, the soil is more workable after the summer heat than in early spring time. Use the trees or shrubs as a border around your landscape. This enhances your property and/or garden area. It typically takes them until winter season to take root.

4. Help your battered lawn

Some areas of your lawn may be battered and worn from the foot traffic in some spots. Fertilize those battered areas to help the grass recover. Rake fof the dead grass and then loosen the soil before you fertilize. Keep the areas moist until the seed sprouts and the new grass takes root.

5. Give your lawn a break for the fall

Let your lawn grow a little taller than usual. Raise the mower blade a little higher. This keeps the lawn healthy. Be cautious, though. You never want to cut the lawn more than one-third the height of the grass blade. You don't want to damage your lawn.

6. Moisten the soil

The cool Atlanta weather shouldn't fool you. Keeping the soil moist is an easy thing to forget. However, it is important to keeping your landscape beautiful, especially the flowers and plants. Sometimes the weather helps when it rains, so this tip may be easy to do.

7. Protect any spices in your landscape

Some people like to include spices as a part of their landscape or garden. The late summer is the perfect time to protect them. Herbs such as parsley, tarragon and basil need to stay in a cool, sunny and dry place during the fall. Thus, remove them from the landscape and take them inside during the fall months.

8. Give your landscape a little protection

Thankfully, Atlanta doesn't receive the crazy, cold weather residents up north receive. However, sometime ice storms and a little snow do head Atlanta's way. Wrap shrub branches with twine during the fall to prevent the shrubs from breaking under the weight of any wintery weather. Secure the twine to the shrug trunk and then wrap in an upward spiral. Repeat the same wrap process but in a downward spiral when you start at the top. Tie the twine to the shrub trunk.

9. Protect hedges

You can protect the hedges from any surprise cold weather by lightly clipping the sides. Taper them upward so the snow falls between the branches.

10. Prepare for landscape weeds now

Weeds are landscape killers. Weeds such as dandelions can cause havoc on your landscape. Late summer and early fall are the best times to remove pesky weeds. This provides a better lawn and garden next spring. Besides, they are germinating during this time so they are easier to kill.

These landscaping tips will help your landscape regroup and prepare for spring. As the weather becomes cooler, continue to pay attention to your landscape. If by the end of fall your perennials aren't doing so well, don't give up. A little gardening maintenance or help from a professional may help them return.

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