Even though your lawn and landscape plants don’t tend to grow during the fall, this season is the optimal time to start preparing your property for the upcoming winter. Fall aeration, seeding, and fertilization will give your lawn a strong foundation for the winter, and fall yard cleanups will tidy up your landscape before the cold weather hits.

Contrary to popular belief, fall is when your lawn and landscape should receive the most maintenance and attention so it may return strong and healthy after winter dormancy. Here is how to prepare your landscaping for the winter in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and nearby areas.

Aerate & Overseed Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn breaks up dry, compacted soil, allowing nutrients, light, water, and air to penetrate deeply into your soil and down to your lawn’s roots. Providing greater access to your grass’ roots is vital to making sure it receives proper nutrition before entering dormancy. For the greatest effect, fertilize and seed just after aerating your lawn in the fall. The seed you lay down in fall will have time to sink deep down into your soil and take root to create a thick, lush lawn in the springtime.

Fertilize Your Lawn

Fall fertilization is key to ensuring your turf is prepared for the winter season. Providing your lawn with a mid- to late fall application of fertilizer provides it with essential nutrients to feed and sustain it through the harsh winter. These nutrients fuel your grass’ root growth, leading to a stronger, thicker, and much greener lawn come spring.

Just before entering winter dormancy, your lawn goes into a nutrient storage cycle where it gathers as much food and nutrients as possible to sustain itself throughout the winter. Fall fertilization provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to accomplish this.

Trim & Prune Landscape Plants

Trimming hedges in the West Des Moines, IA area.

Fall is a great time to trim your trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants to cut back on overgrown branches and remove any dead or dying limbs. This helps prevent the development and spread of diseases and keeps your landscape neat and tidy going into the winter season. Some varieties of plants require pruning in cold weather, such as perennials and some fruit trees. Pruning these plants in the fall prepares them for winter and encourages increased bud and fruit production once they awake from dormancy in spring.

Schedule a Fall Cleanup

Fall cleanups are essential to keeping your lawn strong and healthy as it enters its dormant state. During fall yard cleanups, companies provide many services that are highly beneficial for your lawn and landscape plants. Leaf and debris removal, weeding, trimming, pruning, and mulching are usually all included in fall yard cleanups and provide everything your landscape needs to prepare itself for the cold winter months.

It’s very important to consistently remove any fallen leaves or other clutter from your property all the way up to the start of winter. If leaves are left untouched on your lawn and landscape, the grass and plants beneath won’t be able to receive the sunlight and air they need to thrive and resist disease. Leaf clutter also attracts pests that harm your grass and leave it weak as it enters dormancy. A weak dormant lawn will not be as healthy or beautiful in spring when it starts to grow again.

Winterize Your Irrigation System

Winterizing your irrigation and sprinkler system is vital to ensure it stays safe from winter frost and will be in great working condition come spring. Failing to winterize your system can cause your sprinkler heads, pipes, and valves to crack and burst, destroying your entire irrigation system. Winterizing them and preparing now will save you a costly repair bill when spring returns.

Call us today to help prepare your landscape for winter.

Winter is fast approaching, and now is the time to start preparing your lawn and landscape for the upcoming cold weather. Don’t wait until it’s too late—call us today at (515) 289-2020 to schedule fall services for your property. We’ve been serving the Greater Des Moines, Iowa areas with exceptional lawn and landscape services for over 20 years.