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Don’t Make These 3 Common Fall Landscaping Mistakes


As we transition out of summer and into winter, fall is a very important time to properly care for plants. Due to the rain, build up of leaves, and other unique scenarios we see in the fall, there are common issues we often see people make with their yards. It’s important to use correct plant and lawn care techniques in the fall so that you set your landscape is set up to survive the cold winter season.

Stopping Regular Maintenance and Watering

As the weather begins to cool and we start to see more rainy days, it’s extremely easy to forget about the unique needs of your lawn and plants. Usually we see a few days of rain throughout the week and consider that a enough water to keep them alive. This is a very common mistake and can be catastrophic to plants and lawns.

Fall is a time of year that plants begin to root and get ready for winter. Many times we see plants and trees survive the stresses of summer, but ultimately pass away during the fall months due to a lack of maintenance. Regular watering and cutting plants back is necessary in the fall to keep them happy and growing.

To avoid losing plants due to lack of maintenance, we suggest reviewing your landscape weekly. As part of our maintenance program at Creative Landcare, our crews perform a weekly review of the landscape and communicate that through our regular weekly door hangers. We often set up meetings with clients to help adjust timers and schedules as needed to keep the plants and lawns healthy as the seasons change.

Incorrect Leaf Care

While fall in the Sherwood, Oregon area brings some of the most beautiful, vibrant colors, it also brings up a lot of questions about what to do with the fallen leaves. Do you pick the leaves up, or leave them behind as mulch? The answer is both.

Leaves are a great resource of food for lawns and plants. We recommend leaving small leaves behind. Mowing medium sized leaves into small pieces also helps reduce their size which will ultimately find their way down to the roots of your lawn.

However, removing bigger leaves is equally important. Matted leaves invite fungus, blights, and other cool season diseases. They also prevent water absorption and light access that is needed to keep lawns healthy. When removing leaves, we recommend blowing leaves off of lawns rather than raking them. Raking through the lawn can be damaging and create open areas that moss and other unwanted vegetation can grow.

Our maintenance services at Creative Landcare use both approaches when maintaining your lawn. Mulching leaves with mowers is much easier at the beginning of fall when the weather is warm and we are working with smaller amounts of leaves. We transition into full leaf removal as weather changes and the leaves start to come down more heavily.

Lack of Winter Preparation

Fall is a great time to start preparing plants and trees for harsh winters. Snow, ice and winds can be extremely damaging to ornamental shrubs and trees without proper care

It's important to make sure that plants have room for wind to freely flow through. Cutting back long liters or small branches will also reduce the chance of snow and ice breakage.

Thinning bulky plants will deter ice and snow from collecting, which will help keep plants stable and upright. We recommend pruning plants from the ground up to avoid debris collection at the base of the plant.

We’ll Help You Avoid These Common Mistakes

Our crews work hard to care for your plants appropriately in the fall and set your landscape up for success as we move into the winter months. Give us a call today to have your landscape trees and shrubs ready for this year's storms.

Robin Paschall