Five Landscaping Projects for Fall

Raking leaves

Written by Gloria Ballard

October 25, 2021

Summer’s over, and the winter holidays are approaching. It’s time to begin thinking about spring. True, there’s much less to do in the garden beds around your home. But it’s a good time to plan for next year while this year’s landscape and garden are still on your mind.

Here are five projects to consider this fall to maintain and improve your landscape:

Plant spring-flowering bulbs  

Think about the daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and other spring-flowering favorites that would be a welcome sight next spring and plant bulbs now. 

As a general rule, plant bulbs – pointed end up – at a depth about three times the bulb’s width. 

Plant trees and shrubs

Fall’s cooler weather signals the start of tree-planting time. It’s better to plant trees and shrubs while they are dormant after the leaves are gone. Strong root growth is important for the tree’s survival. And after leaf drop, the trees can put their energy into growing roots without having to support the top. 

Long-term survival also depends on planting the right tree or shrub in the right place. Please make sure the varieties you choose will receive the amount of sunlight and soil conditions they need. And that you understand their growth pattern and size at maturity. Shrubs and trees in the wrong place can become unwelcome inhabitants that will have to be removed later.

Remove excess leaves

If your landscape is blessed with large trees, leaf removal may be your biggest garden task each fall. Here’s a tip from seasoned gardeners: Fall leaves are a great addition to the compost. And some of the leaves you rake off the lawn this fall could come in handy next summer when you can again use them for mulch. Cover them in bags, so they don’t decompose by the time you need them in June.

Fill containers with winter foliage. 

Containers planted with season-appropriate foliage can help you enjoy your landscape through the coming winter. Think about small evergreen shrubs, trailing ivy, branches of berries – anything that provides interesting shapes, shades, and foliage to your containers. Colorful pansies may be your go-to filler for adding color, but also consider the unexpected: rust-red coral bells (Heuchera), Chinese fringe flower (Loropetalum), ornamental cabbage, and other hardy foliage add subtle or striking colors to containers.

Plan for next spring

As leaves fall and foliage dies back, you may be able to get a better idea of changes, additions, and adjustments you’d like to make in your landscape. You can begin thinking about what improvements are possible. Do you want to add raised beds to grow herbs and vegetables? Plan and build them in the fall, and fill them with soil to get acclimated and settled before planting time next year. Do you need new walking paths? Stroll around the landscape now to determine where they should lead. Make arrangements now to have work done so your landscape can be ready to enjoy when you venture out again next spring. 

Need help with your landscape? To book an appointment with Gardens of Babylon’s design or maintenance team, click here.

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Gardens of Babylon offers a Winter Wake-Up Guarantee for dormant plants planted in fall and winter by their Landscaping Team: Dormant plant material will be covered under a 90-day warranty if it fails to flush the following spring. Foliage winter burn on evergreen material is not covered under warranty. Warranty applies to Landscaping plantings ONLY and does not cover plants purchased from the Garden Center. 


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