Sure, the foliage is changing now that Fall is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you should let your landscaping slide. In Central Texas we’re fortunate in that the Fall is typically mild. This makes it the perfect time to get out and get your landscaping in shape for the Fall and Winter.
This guide will provide an overview to everything you should consider to keep your yard looking great into and through the holiday season.
Know the Zone
The USDA has come up with a system of zoning to help people across the country make sound choices for their landscaping and gardening. These Plant Hardiness Zones are based primarily on average winter temperatures.
We’re zone 8b here in the Austin area. However, a small section in the hill country just west of MoPac was actually designated as 9a when the USDA updated its zones in 2012. The rest of Central Texas is also either 9a, 8b or 8a.
Using the recommendations for your plant hardiness zone is the best way of ensuring the success of your fall landscaping. For each zone there are lists of flora and fauna that thrive during different parts of the year and information on when to plant them.
You may be surprised at just how many plants do perfectly well during the fall in our planting zones. Herbs, flowers, vegetables, shrubs – just about anything is possible. Leafy greens do great in gardens during the cooler months and many fall color flowers flourish as well.
Austin Weather Conditions During the Fall
The weather, of course, impacts everything outside. Having a better idea of what to expect can help you prepare your landscaping for the fall.
Average temperature November – 64 degrees
Average temperature December – 57 degrees
Average rainfall November – 2.57”
Average rainfall December – 2.22”
Between November and February the temperatures will be dropping and things will get drier. Unlike the summer months you’ll need to water during the warmer parts of the day.
What to Expect From Insects
During the cool months of Fall insects will be less of a concern, but they are by no means something to write off completely. This time of year bugs are finding places to settle down and keep warm during the winter so come springtime they can start being a nuisance again.
There are a number of places that bugs like to hide outside and inside. One of their favorite Fall spots is under debris like leaves, woodpiles, etc. So it’s important to clean up the yard and clear it out quickly so bugs don’t have a chance to settle into your landscaping for the winter.
Another place to keep an eye on is the eaves of your home and deck. Some types of bugs, like wasps, get through the cold months by congregating together in these areas high up off the ground.
For the most part bugs will be inactive, reserving their energy for keeping warm. But unless you want to deal with infestations come spring, it’s best to get rid of them now so they seek shelter somewhere else.
Get Your Grass in Shape for the Fall and Winter Seasons
Grass isn’t easy to keep green in Central Texas. It needs constant care even when it seems like the lawn isn’t growing. You may not realize it, but grass keeps on going until the ground reaches about 40 degrees.
Fall is the time to fertilize grass so it’s super green come springtime. Use a high-phosphorous mix over the entire lawn. Also give your lawn one more good mow before Winter. Cut it down to about 1.25 inches so that it can remain healthy while fighting off disease and keeping leaves from gathering.
Image Source: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/csessums/4750887346/
Original Source: http://timbertownaustin.com/landscaping-and-design/guide-to-landscaping-during-the-fall