Planning on fall projects? Don’t wait!
It’s September and while “back to school” gets all the attention, we all know summer is not really over. Those who have lived in the Pacific Northwest long enough know September often brings the best weather of the year! Days are still warm, but not too hot; nights are cool and crisp, but still pleasant; and our rainy season has not quite begun. It’s also not unusual for an extended summer to last weeks into October. For gardeners and landscapers especially, September is the last hurrah.
But don’t let the nice weather fool you into thinking you can hold off on your outdoor projects – time will run out, and if you are dreaming of a landscape refresh, there’s no better time to get started!
- Fall is ideal planting season with mild temperatures and lower humidity putting less stress on newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. There is also plenty of time for new plants to establish strong root systems, so they are ready for a healthy growing season come spring.
- Dividing and replanting perennials in the fall after they are done blooming is also ideal so they can get re-established and have a head start for next year.
- If you have large trees on your property, this is a great time to assess their health, remove dead or weak limbs, and treat for insects. Winter storms take their toll and you want your trees to be able to withstand whatever mother nature throws at them.
- Speaking of winter storms – this is also when fences tend to topple, so why not take care of your fences, decks and any other outdoor structures that may need attention now? The last thing you want to deal with mid-winter is repairing your outdoor structures!
- Fall is a great time for projects like new hardscapes and outdoor structures like pergolas and arbors, retaining walls, firepits and more. The weather is often ideal, you are more likely to have time to complete projects before winter, and your yard will be ready for full enjoyment next spring and summer. Besides, if you wait too long, your contractor may be booked up for spring!
That last tip is one we cannot stress enough. Whatever projects you are considering for your yard or landscape, from the small to the large – new plantings, pruning and maintenance, new irrigation systems, hardscapes and structures – we always recommend consulting with a qualified professional before you start and don’t wait to get started! Even small projects may take longer than you think and it’s always a good idea to get things scheduled in advance; this will give you the best chance of getting what you want, when you want it.
Here are some of our favorite projects for fall. (Hint, there’s still time if you want to plan something for your yard!)
Retaining Walls – Where form meets function.
Whatever the purpose retaining walls may serve – provide support to keep erosion at bay, keep hillsides in place, create terraces or extra useable land, manage water runoff, provide additional seating – retaining walls can add value, interest and beauty to the landscape.
Covered Patios – Not just for shade.
Live here long enough and you know what a blessing dry outdoor space can be mid-winter. With the right cover your patio becomes an extension of your house providing shelter and year-round enjoyment.
Paths, Walkways & Lighting – To get you from here to there.
Luscious lawns are great for bare feet in the summer and dirt paths are fine in summer, but a well-planned path or walkway is a must in the winter months, and can be a thing of beauty throughout all the seasons. Proper lighting to mark the way is not just a practical safety concern, but can also highlight special features and add interest to your yard.
Fire Pits – A little warmth goes a long way.
There’s nothing quite like sitting around the fire and snuggling up under the stars is simply the best any time of year – whether you’re roasting marshmallows, sipping your favorite beverage or simply enjoying the glow.
When it comes to outdoor living and enjoying your yard year-round, we really do have it pretty good here in the Pacific Northwest. It just takes a little planning and, like anything in life, good timing. So, if you’re dreaming of projects for your yard, don’t wait. Put pencil to paper, call a landscape designer and hire a pro for the things you can’t do on your own. And get started now to make this fall your best season yet!