It’s a good time of year to do a Fall Cleanup to get your flower beds ready for the winter. We’ve already had a number of strong frosts, which has killed off a lot of your perennials and especially your annuals. They need to be trimmed down so that the spring beauty may shine through. We frequently perform Fall Clean-ups in conjunction with our leaf removal service.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to get rid of leaves:
- Some leaves can be mulched and strewn around the lawn. The mulched leaves work as a natural fertilizer for the next season when they are integrated into the soil. However, if you cut up too many leaves without removing any, you’ll likely end up with dead areas and a thick covering of thatch in the spring.
- The build-up of thatch. If you chop up too many leaves, they won’t have time to break down and become integrated into the soil. A layer of thatch will begin to form as a result of this. Thatch will prevent oxygen, nutrients, and water from reaching the grass plant’s root zone, limiting its growth.
- Leaves that aren’t removed off the lawn give a safe refuge for pests and diseases to thrive.
- Decks can also be stained by leaves.
What to do with diseased plant waste?
- Do not throw away any landscape plant material in the truck.
- Diseased plant debris should be composted in a compost pile that reaches a temperature of 148°F and breaks down all plant material completely. The majority of plant pathogens found in Minnesota landscapes will be killed by this method.
- Plant waste can be taken to a municipal compost facility if your garden compost pile does not heat up properly. Compostable goods can be picked up at the curb in some cities.
Tips for easy Fall Cleanup
Do your preparation work
Fix your mower’s height to the lowest setting for one final cut of the season before beginning leaf cleanup. Smoothing out your lawn with shorter grass, whether with a rake or a blower, creates less resistance, which helps the job go much faster.
Also, take a page from the pros’ book. Landscapers are frequently seen utilizing tarps to shift around mounds of leaves this time of year. You can use a 9×12-foot or larger polyethylene tarp to accomplish this time-saving method. Rake or blow the leaves straight onto it after spreading it out flat. A full tarp can be heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. Thread a rope through the grommets (knot the ends) or attach carabiners to the grommets to make hauling easier and keep the tarp from spilling open.
Shade your Lawn
Mow leaves with your gas mower once more. The mower grinds them up into small pieces, which your lawn can use as nutrient-rich compost. Even if you bag the leaves, the smaller bits will fit more per bag. You’ll also burn through the last of the gas in the tank before putting the mower away for the winter.
Even the most powerful walk-behind mower might stop if the leaves are piled too high or damp, especially if the deck height is low. Slow down and lean back the mower to raise the blade out of the packed leaves; ease it back down softly if you hear the motor straining. You can also switch to side discharge from bagging or mulching mode. Clean the deck and get the blade sharpened before putting the mower away for the season.
Maintain Perennial Flowers
Seed heads on perennials like coneflowers and black-eyed Susans can be allowed to ripen until they turn brown and split open. These seed capsules resemble salt shakers, but they’re filled with tiny seeds. Leave them for the birds to consume, and they’ll self-sow, resulting in more native flowers.
However, there are some plants that should be pruned to avoid problems. Plants like peonies, bearded iris, and lilies can be pruned down to 3 to 5 inches in height. Iris borers spend the winter in/on the foliage; thus, it’s a good idea to get rid of it in the fall. Learn which perennials should be left alone and which should be pruned.
Mow the Lawn
Just like we permit some perennials to grow a bit longer in the winter, you should leave the lawn to grow a little longer in the winter. Caterpillars and other soil-enriching invertebrates burrow down into the thatch, and a close-cropped grass doesn’t help them.
As a result, during the final cut of the season, set your mower blades pretty high. This will protect the soil while also making your turf healthier. You can also use this time to give your lawns a clean, fresh look.
We at Eden vacuum up all of the trash leftover from the Fall Cleanup and the leaf removal operation, shred it into tiny bits and then transport it up north to be composted organically. The leaves will convert into black gold, commonly known as compost and dirt, the next year. We despise seeing the city haul leaves to the dump in plastic bags. The leaves provide excellent soil nutrients and can be utilized and repurposed.