By Rich Caldwell, Vice President,
ECOSystems Landscape Services
It is time to mulch again. No matter what type of mulch you apply be sure to install at least 1" - 3" of mulch depending on existing depths. Keep mulch away from tree trunks to help minimize damage to the trunk. Mulch helps to protect against erosion, reduces compaction, and conserves moisture and minimizes water use.
Keep up with leaf removal as it occurs.
Large amount of leaves left on turf can cause disease problems and suffocate the turf.
Turf should respond more efficiently to watering now that it's not forced into survival mode by the heat and the drought.
Continue mowing St Augustine grass at 4 inches and Bermuda and Zoysia a little shorter, and mow as consistently as possible. As the weather cools a bit, the landscape naturally wants to bounce back and begin storing energy for the winter as soon as possible. Whichever fertilizer or amendment you choose, whether it's for your beds, turf or trees, obtain as balanced a mixture as possible. Follow the directions on the package to avoid over-feeding, or burning your landscape with good intentions. If you have not done so already, you should be in the process of putting down pre-emergent weed controls on you landscape.
The dangers of spreading oak wilt decrease dramatically between the months of July and January, so now is an ideal time to prune Oaks as well as most other landscape trees. Some trees are easier to prune after the leaves have dropped, but minor canopy pruning can be done anytime. Keep in mind, when pruning Oak trees, any wound should be sprayed with pruning paint, this seals the wound and further prevents the spread of disease. Also, be sure your pruning tools are sharp. Make sure to disinfect between cuts on different trees, especially oaks, to help minimize spread of disease. Cuts should be made parallel to the branch, and no closer than a quarter inch from the branch.
Never prune more than a third of the foliage of any plant. Depending on the plant, this could shock its system, forcing the plant into dormancy, or ultimately, death. Lantanas may be sheared as well now. Even if the plant has a nice show of flowers, a light shear may flush a good deal of new growth and the coming season could see many more flowers than if it had been left alone. Remember, flowering plants will do much better if it is deadheaded. Removing the spent flowers from the plant helps to increase flower production. This is a great time to plant and replace the ones that did not make it from the drought and intense heat. Remember if they suffered through the hot summer season, you may want to try a different plant. Us native adaptive drought tolerant. That means they can do well with less water but not without water. Especially in the beginning they need water to help establish good roots.
Do you need your irrigation system inspected or interested in converting your system to drip? Please give us a call and ECOSystems would be glad to provide a solution that best meets your needs!
If you would like more information about your landscaping or to get a proposal for maintenance, please contact ECOSystems at 512-977-0052 or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org