Vail Landscape Logic column: October is time to prune, fertilize, mow and winterize
October 23, 2016
The growing season is definitely winding down. Still, the glorious weekend ahead will be an ideal time to take an inventory of what still needs to be done in the yard before cold weather sets in. Here are four sustainable and health-minded things you — or your landscape pro — can start this weekend or schedule soon.
No 1: Prune shade trees so they will be better prepared to handle the wind and snow of winter. If there are dead or damaged branches from last year's storms that have not been pruned, they could be a hazard during early snows this season.
Broken branches fall randomly, without warning, threaten people and property and should be addressed as a liability. And for the viability of your trees, structural pruning will help them stand up to winter storms with less damage. Pruning shows your trees you love them.
No. 2: Remember to winterize the sprinkler system. Just like we unhook the hose from the faucet to prevent freeze damage on cold nights, we need to winterize the sprinkler system to prevent freeze damage. If you're new to Colorado or have an outdoor irrigation system for the first time, this is advice to follow.
Blowing out sprinkler lines with compressed air keeps pipes and expensive components from freezing, breaking or bursting — and prevents water damage. October is the month to get this project done, as we never know when a hard freeze will hit.
No. 3: Mow the leaves. They are still falling, and before you or the dog tracks them indoors, mow through them over the lawn with a mulching lawn mower. Leaves cut into tiny bits by the mower are a great source of nutrients for the lawn. It's also much faster to mow them than to rake and bag them, and mulching keeps tons of unnecessary debris out of the landfill.
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No. 4: Fertilize the lawn. October is an ideal time for the last fertilization of the season. In fact, the turf grass experts at Colorado State University say it's one of the most important applications of the year. The fall dose of fertilizer promotes a healthy lawn and helps the lawn green up earlier in the spring.
Love your lawn, love your trees, mow the leaves, and blow out the sprinklers — you'll be set for winter.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.