Many people forget about fall when it comes to landscape care, especially in Southern California. When we don’t see the leaves change colors, it can be easy to overlook this important season. There are many things we can do during fall to keep our landscapes healthy and ready to collect as much water as they can during the winter.
Plants grow deep roots in the fall
Fall is often the best time to introduce new plants. With the cooler temperatures and rain on the way, it is the perfect time to let plants settle in and grow deep roots.
Pruning existing plants and trees can be beneficial to their health during the fall as well. When the temperatures go down, plants and trees turn their energy away from growing leaves, flowers or fruit. They start to grow roots and develop a stronger system to prepare for next season.
Fall landscape maintenance
Don’t forget the mulch. Mulching is always helpful to prevent water loss, but during the fall it also gives a layer of protection to insulate your landscape during the winter. Even though most areas in Southern California rarely see below-freezing temperatures, there are some areas that would benefit from this layer of protection. When first applying mulch, remember to keep it one to six inches away from plant stems to avoid rot.
Pulling weeds and clearing out debris are also important tasks to perform during the fall. If you pull weeds out now, there will be fewer weeds next season. Getting rid of landscape debris will also help protect your water quality in the long run.
The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including tips for sustainable landscaping best practices at SustainableLandscapesSD.org and free WaterSmart classes at WaterSmartSD.org.