Fall Time Fun in the Landscape

Autumn is the best time to tackle activities that will enhance your landscape now — and get it ready for next spring. Take these next couple of months to leisurely sow and gather.

There are plenty of activities you can do in your yard in October and November that will enhance your landscape now — and get it ready for next year.

So that they’re easy to remember, I’m calling them the “general landscape Ps.”

Planting – Fall is the best time in South Texas to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Wildflowers should be scattered about. Good seed to soil contact is a must! Don’t cover with soil, but water them in well. Antioxidant vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach and garlic should be planted now in the garden. Use our plant database to find the most appropriate plants for your landscape.

Pruning – Begin pruning Mediterranean landscape plants now — such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, Jerusalem sage — to shape and encourage new growth in the spring. Tree pruning begins in late November and continues through mid-February.

Planning – Think about what has fared well and what hasn’t over the past few years. If you’ve replaced parts of the lawn more than twice in the past five years, now is a good time to consider another approach, like a groundcover or a hardscape. I personally begin to select my tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant at Christmas.

Providing – Fall is the most important time to provide nutrition and organic matter to plants. Use slow-release products like a 19-5-9 or similar lawn fertilizer, organic blends of compost and fertilizer or plain compost. Quick release “winterizer” fertilizers may be used later in the fall, but not too late.

Take these next couple of months to leisurely sow and gather for next spring and summer. In South Texas, it’s always prudent to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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