The season for landscaping is quickly ending. Now is the time to get started on those fall chores before the ground completely freezes and is covered by snow. Any fall tasks that get neglected in the Fall will need to be dealt with in Spring. Waiting for Spring though can put you between a rock and a hard place. Most times the problem area has gotten worse, and all the landscape companies are too busy to work on it in Spring. To avoid this situation, get started on these three landscape projects using landscape material of black dirt, mulch, and rock.
Regrade and Fill in Low Spots
Grading and drainage issues are usually dealt with in a reactionary manner. Homeowners will often wait until after a steep slope has washed out or a giant puddle forms in the middle of the yard to call a landscape professional.
If there’s a low spot or steep slope that needs to be regraded, Fall is the time to do it. When snow melts in March and rain comes in April, that’s when these grading issues will rear their ugly heads. Don’t wait until Spring to deal with these problems.
Refurbish Gravel Driveways
Over the course of winter, the ground will freeze, shift, thaw, and heave. Any ruts that existed before will only get worse by the time Spring arrives. Rather than deal with an eroding driveway over the winter, put a new layer of Class 5 rock down. A refurbished driveway will give a nice compacted surface to drive on during the winter and there won’t be any outdoor maintenance issues to deal with the next season.
Mulch to Insulate Vulnerable Plants
Any plant, shrub, or tree that is particularly vulnerable to harsh Minnesota winters should be protected accordingly. One way to protect shrubs and trees is to provide a thick layer of mulch around the base to insulate the roots. A mulch refresh is recommended if either the shrub/tree was recently planted or if the plant isn’t rated for the proper USDA Hardiness Zone. In both these scenarios, the roots are susceptible to freezing temperatures that could severely damage the plant.
As tempting as it is to ignore those pesky fall chores, taking care of landscape maintenance now will save you time and a headache in the Spring. Set yourself up for success by getting a head start on next year’s projects. Once the ground freezes and snow flies, working with black dirt, mulch, and rock will be nearly impossible.