Ask the ExpertsFall Color Rotation and CleanupOctober 25, 2023As the temperature starts to dip and autumn paints Texas in hues of gold and crimson, it’s time to consider how to keep your landscape looking its best. To keep your outdoor property looking its best, let’s break down the essentials of fall color rotation and cleanup.Fall Color Rotation: Why It MattersChanging out summer plants for fall varieties isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s also about creating an environment that supports the local ecosystem. Fall plants often provide essential resources to wildlife preparing for winter.Considering fall color rotation in your annual landscaping strategy offers distinct benefits, especially if making the best impression by maintaining a year-round impressive landscape is your priority.Tip: Swap out summer blooms with fall classics like chrysanthemums, aster, and goldenrod. These not only brighten up your landscape but also serve as nectar sources for late-season pollinators.Decluttering: Out with the OldAs leaves fall and plants go dormant, removing dead foliage can prevent diseases from wintering in your garden. Regular cleanup allows new growth to thrive come spring.Tip: Perform a weekly walk-through of your garden. Pick up fallen leaves, remove dead plant matter, and prune back perennials that have finished their cycle.Composting: Turn Waste into Valuable SoilRather than sending garden waste to the landfill, consider composting. Compost enriches the soil, helping plants grow healthier and stronger.Tip: Create a compost pile in a corner of your yard. Add garden waste, fallen leaves, and even kitchen scraps like fruit and vegetable peels. Turn the pile occasionally to aerate, and in a few months, you’ll have nutrient-rich compost.Mulching: Protect and NourishMulch serves multiple purposes: it insulates the soil, retains moisture, and suppresses weeds. In fall, it’s important to protect plant roots from fluctuating temperatures.Tip: Use shredded bark, straw, or leaf mold as mulch. Apply a 2–3-inch layer around plants, making sure not to pile it up against stems or trunks.Watering: Adjust According to the SeasonFall often brings more rainfall, but it’s still important to monitor soil moisture. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering may stress plants.Tip: Use a soil moisture meter or simply feel the soil a few inches deep. If it’s dry, water deeply, ensuring the roots get enough hydration.Planting Bulbs for Spring BloomsFall is the perfect time to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring. This adds a burst of color and life to your garden after winter.Tip: Plant bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in well-draining soil. Make sure that the pointed end faces up and follows the depth recommendations on the packaging.Seasonal Flowerbed Updates Create Renewed AppealRotating plant beds seasonally keeps your property’s appeal interesting and fresh.Tip: This fall, use a mix of violas, pansies, cabbage, kale, snapdragons, and other local plants to create the perfect autumn ambience with an appealing assortment of textures, heights, and hues.Strategic Placement of Seasonal ColorWhere should you put seasonal colors? Place them on prominent spots or areas that attract attention. Locations like entrances, clubhouses, near signs, or any spot that draws visitors’ eyes are ideal.Tip: When introducing seasonal colors to your landscape, think of them as visual magnets. By strategically placing them in high-traffic or focal areas, such as entrances or near signs, you can naturally guide and captivate visitors’ attention.Protecting Tender PlantsSome plants might need a little extra care to survive winter. Frost cloth, mulch, or even relocating potted plants can make all the difference.Tip: If you have a tender citrus tree in a pot, consider moving it to a sheltered location or indoors during cold temperatures.Integrating Color Rotation into Fall LandscapingHere are the different factors influencing fall color rotation, cleanup, and other autumn landscaping tasks:Late August to Early September – This period is crucial for ordering flowers and other plants intended for fall color rotation. Plan in advance with your landscaping provider, as last-minute orders can limit your options.October to November – Fall cleanup starts with pruning perennials once they begin to fade. The exact timing can vary based on the year’s climate.October to January – Leaf removal can start from October to January. It mainly depends on temperature fluctuations and the amount of rainfall during summer.October – This is a good time to do a fall color switch. However, if warmer temperatures remain, it might be pushed to the succeeding month.Fall Season – Lawn care, including fertilization, is done. Both warm-season and cool-season grasses need rejuvenation post-summer. Additionally, pre-winter nourishment is important as root growth intensifies during this dormant phase.For a tailored annual landscape management plan that suits your needs, contact Southern Botanical, your local Dallas landscaping experts, today.