First Freeze Is Coming Soon

The month of October in Colorado brings about thoughts of changing weather, raking leaves, and preparing for the holiday season. The idea of wintering your yard, even though less alluring, is an important part of all the “October festivities”.

Some of the important tasks include cleaning up perennial beds before winter, mulching your flower gardens and trees, and digging up tender bulbs such as Caladium, Gladiolas, and Calla and Canna Lilies.

Other October outdoor projects are:

  • Aerate the Lawn
  • Feed Your Grass
  • Mow a Final Time
  • Plant New Trees and  Shrubs
  • Trim Dead Limbs
  • Dry Out Drip Systems

See the full list here:  Fall Landscaping Checklist

One of the above mentioned tasks of planting new trees and shrubs in the fall is one I’ve never had much luck with. I feel as though they have a much better chance of survival in the spring.

I think this is partially because our fall and winter moisture in Colorado can be hit or miss. Most people stop watering and winterize their sprinkler and drip systems before the first freeze, which averages somewhere during the first ten days of October.

If we happen to have a dry fall or winter, then the new plant doesn’t get a good start. The cooler weather helps to encourage strong root growth because the rest of the plant is going dormant, but without plentiful water the plant will struggle.

Amending Your Soil

You should consider amending your soil in the fall to help replenish the nutrients. If you’re not sure of your soil type, you can get a soil test kit at most local garden centers.

This video provides ideas for different inorganic products to amend various types of soil:

If you are more interested in organic products to help improve the structure of your soil, there are plenty  options. These natural components will assist the soil in being more capable of holding nutrients and moisture.

When organic materials are included, they also act in varying degrees as fertilizers, providing a mix of nutrients to plant roots. Five of the top organic additives are:

1. Compost – Compost is pure organic matter.

2. Manure – Manure can be one of the most beneficial additives to the garden for amending soil.

3. Mulch – Mulch is the shredded up plant matter.

4. Biochar –Leftover porous material that remains when wood is burned.

5. Sand – For heavy clay soil, adding sand helps to increase drainage and water penetration.

Winterizing Your Sprinkler Systemwinterizing your sprinklers

Another topic mentioned above is going through the process of blowing out your sprinkler and dripper lines. It isn’t difficult, but many people would rather hire a Denver landscaping company to do it for them as most offer the service at a fairly inexpensive price.

Here is what you need to winterize your system:

With a basic quick-connect coupling, you can use your air compressor to clear water from your sprinkler system for the winter. Just be aware that even the largest home compressor isn’t powerful enough to blow out the entire system at once. But you can probably blow it out zone by zone.

See the original post here:  How to Winterize a Sprinkler System

To clear the water out zone by zone, you need to set the air pressure on your compressor to a max of 80 pounds per square inch (psi) for rigid PVC pipe or to 50 psi for flexible black poly pipe.