Time to Plan Your Fall Gainesville Landscaping Task List!

The time has finally come to begin planning your fall Gainesville landscaping tasks with Fall just around the corner. It may not feel like it, but cooler days will be here in a month or so, and evening temperatures are already on a downward slope. Get ready for fall landscaping activities by planning for and scheduling tasks those hard-to-get-to tasks now.

Schedule the projects, purchase supplies, and plan what your priorities are -although the actual work won't begin just yet. You will be fertilizing your lawn, monitoring lawn pest and weed activity, and dialing in irrigation schedules. You may also choose to add some fall seasonal color or add new shrubs and trees.

Plan Cool-Season Annuals
Right now, your warm-season annuals are still looking good. Angelonia, torenia, vinca, zinnias, coleus, and caladium are blooming well. In our Gainesville, Florida lawns, these will continue thriving into mid-October. Depending on if you're using Fall color such as Mums or moving straight to Pansies and Petunias, you can delay purchasing and installing cool-season annuals until November. For Mums it would be an earlier timeline though.

If you like to grow flowers from seeds, however, now is the time to start thinking about it, especially if you plan to order supplies and seeds online. Setting up your seedling areas can be a project if you want to sow lots of seeds. This can also be a great project for kids to see as the plants grow.

Consider these Gainesville area cool-season annuals for your flower beds:

Snapdragons, Pansies, Violas, Mums, Petunias, Phlox, or Sweet Pea

Fall Gainesville Lawn Fertilizing
Be ready for the year's last round of nitrogen feeding in September or October. General garden fertilizer is suitable for most trees and shrubs (12-4-8 or 15-5-15 or 15-4-8) and your turf mix would vary depending upon your grass type - St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Centipede.

For tree and shrub fertilization (Ornamental fertilizer), spread it evenly on the ground under the tree out to the drip line (edge of the outer mimbs of the trees).

For lawns, look the turf fertilizer depends on your breed of turfgrass. St. Augustine and Bahia get their final feeding of the year in September; Zoysia and Bermuda will be later in the year, although continuing to feed other micro and macro nutrient s is important for root density and health through the winter. 

Add New Shrubs
Want to add new shrubs or flowers? Fall is the perfect time. If you wait until October when the days are cooler, the planting process doesn’t stress shrubs as much, and our winters aren't extreme so it gives new plants a long time to adjust and root before the next heat wave of summer.

Use September as the month of ground prep for new shrubs. Get rid of all weeds, either by hand-picking or spraying weed contorl. Remove plants that are failing. Dig up the soil and turn it over, adding enriching amendments such as cow manure (purchased in a bag at a nursery or garden center), grass clippings, wood chips, straw, and wood ash.

The ground will be ready for installing new shrubs in late September or October. Fall is also a good time to add new trees.

Keep a Watch for Pests
Until the days really cool down, pests remain active. On shrubs and plants, keep a watch for aphids, mites, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. Crape Myrtle's will regularly struggle with black sooty mold from Aphids,

As for your Gainesville lawn pests, look for chinch bug damage (dry patches by concrete and curbs), moths fluttering in the lawn (which is the adult sod webworm), and their damage of chewed leaf blades. Leave the beneficial insects alone: lacewings, spiders, mantids, and ladybugs. These good bugs eat the destructive ones. You can also look for lawn fungus, leaf spot, and melting out this time of year as well.

Turn on Irrigation as Needed
Early September may still see afternoon showers. As the fall progresses and less rain falls, homeowners should be prepared to turn on irrigation systems more fequently. Fortunately, many systems are equipped with rain sensors or smart controllers to keep them from running too often. However, the grass still needs monitoring to ensure that it is receiving enough water. 

I hope this is helpful as you plan your Fall Landscape To-Do List. Let us know if we can help your Gainesville lawn or landscape in any way by calling/texting (352) 378-5296 or emailing us at info@themasterslawncare.com.

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