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The arrival of fall means that green leaves give way to jewel tones, and yes, there are going to be some hours spent raking the fallen leaves from your yard in the near future. With falling leaves and barren branches it can be easy to neglect your outdoor plants until spring returns with the warm temperatures.

This is a mistake. Both your outdoor, and your indoor plants need care all year round, and perhaps more so in the fall and winter. Let’s take a look at the top tips for keeping your plants healthy and thriving when the mercury dips on the thermometer.

Fall Plant Health Care

Fall Plant Health Care Tip 1

Have Your Entire Outdoor Space Inspected

One of the very best steps that you can take to help prevent plant and tree damage, or loss is to head off disease, and infestation before they have a chance to get a foothold. Regular inspections of your property make it easy to stay ahead of the pests, and pestilence that are just looking for a chance to ravage your trees, shrubs, and garden beds.

During a scheduled property inspection a trained professional will evaluate each of your plants, shrubs, and trees for indicators of potential health problems, or possible insect or fungal encroachment. Regular inspections are an excellent source of information that help you to better care for your home’s plants, and prevent the damage or loss that is possible when problems go undetected.


Take Care Of Any Plant Ravaging Pests

Insects and funguses can wreak havoc on your plants and trees in an alarmingly short period of time. Fortunately most of these foliage destroying pests tend to go dormant when the cold weather arrives which means that Fall is the perfect time to have your outdoor plants and trees treated to eradicate any dormant infestations. The care that you provide now can give your trees a chance to use their energy to recover from any existing pest or fungal damage so that they are ready to come back with full health in the springtime.

Additionally, not all pests are dormant. There are some species, like the Borer, that are particularly opportunistic and prefer to borrow into trees during the winter months. Treating your trees for pests in the Fall can help to keep these insects from damaging your trees during the winter


Fertilize Your Plants

Like the pest control measures discussed above, Fall makes a perfect time to fertilize plants. During the spring and summer months your trees and outdoor plants are expending a great deal of energy growing new leaves, flowers, and fruits. During the cooler months your plants and trees are able to use their energy to strengthen their internal structures and store up energy to be ready for healthy growth when the warm weather returns. Fertilizing your plants and trees in the fall provides an extra boost of nutrients to help them prepare for the next growing season.

Fertilizing your trees in the Fall is also a great way to help protect them from the harsh winter cold. Mulch fertilizer serves as a warm winter blanket for your plant and tree roots, helping to seal in both warmth and moisture during the cold winter months.


Take Disease Control Measures

As your trees begin to drop their leaves at the first signs of Fall, it is the ideal time to schedule a diagnostic consultation to check your trees for any signs of disease. The subtle indicators of disease, poor health, or infestation can be easiest to spot during this period. Next spring when the leaves are fresh and new the signs of disease may be masked by the fresh new growth. This means that the disease, or infestation may carry on unchecked until it is far more advanced
And begins to cause visible signs of deterioration in the newly sprouted growth.

Diagnosing, and treating disease in the fall allows the tree to recover before needing to begin the energy sapping task of creating new growth in the spring.


Adjust Your Watering Schedule

Though your plants’ water needs may vary significantly according to the climate zone in which you reside, in most areas you will need to water both your indoor and outdoor plants less frequently during the fall and winter months.

During the cooler months, plants tend to use less water, and there is less water evaporation from the soil, meaning that the soil surrounding your plant remains moist and capable of sustaining your plants’ moisture needs for far longer.

There is no hard and fast rule for how often you should water your plants in the fall and winter. Be sure to check the moistness of the soil before watering to ensure that you are not overwatering which can cause root damage in extreme cases, and may encourage an influx of pests and fungus.


Make Sure Your Plants Get Enough Light

Since fall is such an important season for root growth and ensuring the longevity of your trees, you really want to make sure that your soil is in good shape to provide your tree everything it needs during this critical period. Keep soil moist over the course of the fall.

As winter comes and trees go dormant, they will require less water and there will be less overall evaporation of moisture from the soil, but until the ground starts to freeze you need to prevent your soil from ever getting too dry. In forests, organic matter naturally adds nutrients into the soil. Unfortunately, most suburban lawns don’t naturally contain the nutrients that trees need to thrive, so you will need to add them in yourself.


Take A Break From Fertilizing

While the fall months may be an excellent time to give your trees a fertilizer boost, when it comes to your plants, especially those that live indoors, you may need to take a break from fertilizing. As the weather cools, new growth slows and your plants naturally need less nutrition. Use your best judgment here.

If your plant looks droopy, and lackluster, or if it does begin to sprout new growth then go ahead and give it an extra nutrient boost of fertilizer, otherwise cut back on your normal fertilizer schedule during the cooler months.


Watch The Temperature

Indoor plants tend to be tropical, or sub-tropical species. This means that these plants thrive at balmy temperatures of around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and they can be sensitive to fluctuations in heat.

Take care that your indoor plants are not placed too close to a cold window in the winter, or that they are not placed in close proximity to an air vent where they may be getting blasted with hot air from your home’s heating system. 


Prune Dead Leaves & Limbs

Pruning away the dead, or dying leaves and limbs from your plants and trees serves several important functions. First, plants expend a great deal of energy trying to keep leaves, and branches alive and flourishing. If a leaf, or limb has become diseased or damaged, you can help your plants conserve their energy for healthy leaves and limbs by pruning away the damaged portions.

When it comes to trees, trimming dead, or damaged limbs helps to keep your home and property, and the people who frequent it safe from harm caused by falling branches. Dead and dying tree limbs are difficult for the tree to support, and are prone to breakage in fall and winter storms. Trim these branches away at the start of fall to avoid any accidents, or injuries during the winter months.


Provide Deep Root Fertilization

The cooler months are a great time to provide a deep root fertilization injection. During deep root fertilization the fertilizer is injected deep into the soil surrounding the root system, or in some cases may be injected directly into the tree trunk.

This deep injection system allows the root system to fully absorb the fertilizer, and helps to ready the tree or plant for the energy expenditure required to produce healthy, abundant new growth in the spring. 


Remove Leaves From Ground Plant Beds

It is important to remove any fallen leaves from your ground plant beds to prevent the growth of fungus, and infestations of insects. Fallen leaves, atop the moist soil of ground plant beds, creates the perfect protective environment for fungal growth during the fall months.

Many of these molds, fungus, and insects would generally be suppressed, or eliminated by the harsh winter climate, however when provided with the warm protective cover of fallen, rotting leaves they are able to thrive and re-infect your plants in the springtime. 


Rake Fallen Leaves From Turf Grass

Fallen leaves can easily smother yout turf grass by blocking the light, and air it needs to thrive. Remove fallen leaves in the fall to allow your grass to thrive so that you can enjoy a lush, healthy looking lawn all season long.

If you have questions about tree service or plant health care or would like an estimate, give us a call at 978-768-6999 or click here to contact us.

If you’d like to learn more about Fall Tree Care – Our Top 12 Tips just click here.

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