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It’s Time to Plan a Fall Clean Up

Aug 1, 2022 | Lawns

The key to great landscaping is having a plan. That’s why we want our clients to start thinking about their final fall clean up.

The last fall clean up is one of the most important parts of your lawn’s year-long landscape maintenance. Getting everything tidied up for winter pays off big in the spring when your landscape blooms.

We have a few essential tasks we always include on our clients’ end-of-the-season checklists.

Fall Clean Up Essential 1: Final Trimming and Pruning

Our experts evaluate trees and shrubs and form a plan of attack to get rid of excess branches. With winter on the way, we can’t leave dead or diseased branches. Snowfall makes these dangerous, and we wouldn’t want our clients exposed to the risk of falling branches.

We recommend homeowners leave the final pruning to the experts. Pruning is a job high off the ground that requires special tools and expertise. If there are any branches that are higher than 15 feet and/or are anywhere near power lines or infested by insects, we recommend working with directly with a tree company.  Landscaping companies may tell you they can work this high up and in these conditions, but only tree companies have the proper trucks and equipment for this type of work.

The last pruning of the year keeps the tree growing strong branch structures. The tree will stand up better to the elements that are about to hit it if an expert assesses it and prepares it.

Fall Clean Up Essential 2: Mowing, Weeding and Mulching

The final lawn maintenance of the year requires some special touches that our experts are trained in.

The length of the last mow should be a bit longer than you might think. It depends on the grass variety, but generally you want 2.5 inches. Longer than that, and you might get matting when the snow falls. If it’s normally longer than 2.5 inches, then you want to taper down to that length over the course of several mows so as not to stress the grass. And of course, we rake the leaves off the grass to let the sun shine through.

Your gardens will also need weeding before the winter. Removing weeds hinders their ability to grow back in the spring. Of course, they’re weeds, so they will be back, but it makes the spring weeding easier and keeps the gardens looking good through the winter.

Next, we mulch. Mulch creates an insulation barrier that protects plant roots from wild swings in temperature in the air. The soil will stay warmer for longer and promote spring renewal.

Fall Clean Up Essential 3: Leaf and Debris Removal

Before the first frost, your lawn needs a cleanup. The final step of a fall clean-up lawn is getting rid of all the unsightly leaves and debris. You don’t want it around to get covered up by snow and ice, making remove much, much harder.

If you’d like to get started on your fall clean up, give us a call at Johnson’s Landscaping Service. We love to start a new landscape maintenance client off right with a proper clean up.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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