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Preparing Your Landscape for Winter

Timing is everything when it comes to caring for your lawn and landscaping. As temperatures drop, plants are preparing for dormancy. Dormancy is when plants slow or stop their activity to preserve energy. Although you won’t see as much action above ground, there is still a lot going on beneath your soil before it freezes. Roots are still growing, gathering moisture and nutrients from the soil. Earthworms and various microbes in the soil are still processing the organic material they're finding.

When preparing for fall, there are a few crucial things Nurney will do to protect your Bucks County landscape from a cold winter.

Pruning Trees With a few exceptions, pruning yields the best results when carried out during a tree’s dormant period in the fall and winter. Pruning should be a regular part of maintenance for both your trees and shrubs. There are many reasons that pruning is important, including:

  • Improve plant structure and appearance

  • Train young plants

  • Revitalize older plants

  • Control plant size

  • Manage flower or fruit production

  • Reduce risk of property damage

Practically speaking, pruning is easier when the tree is dormant. Without leaves obstructing the view, it is easy to identify which limbs are diseased or damaged and should be removed. When dormant, a tree or shrub does not need to spend energy producing blooms or leaves. It can therefore focus all of its resources towards repairing the cuts that result from pruning. Pruning now also prevents small problems from becoming large ones. The condition of damaged or diseased limbs can worsen over the winter, or they can fall victim to storm damage. Inspecting during the dormant season (and pruning as needed) can be the stitch in time that saves nine. Your trees and shrubs are some of your yard’s biggest investments. Detailed, professional pruning in the dormant months goes a long way towards ensuring their long-term health!

Managing Flower Beds

Almost all perennials should be cut to the ground each fall. Just like with trees, you should cut perennials when they are dormant. This will allow the plants to heal over the winter and bloom again next spring and summer! Debris from old foliage and grasses can add up pretty quickly--Nurney will clean up all detritus along with leaves throughout your yard.

Additionally, the fall is a great time to fertilize. Fall is the best and most important time to fertilize your lawn because: • Fall’s morning dew delivers moisture to help turf absorb the fertilizer. • The grass has a chance to build stamina before a chilly winter. • Supporting root growth in fall leads to a healthier, greener lawn in spring.

Mowing Lawns You have probably already noticed that the cooler weather has helped your lawn green back up after summer heat. Nurney will keep your lawn short this fall, because short grass does not matt under snow cover, and therefore is less susceptible to snow mold and other fungi. If you don’t mind a bit of a rough-around-the-edges look, we will mow fallen leaves without bagging them to add organic matter for a healthier lawn. If you have heavy thatch or compacted soil, consider letting us core aerate your lawn this fall. Dormant Oil Treatment

Unwelcome insects can cause considerable damage to your landscape. Of all of your plants, trees and shrubs are the costliest and the most prominent. Oftentimes, you will not know that there is an insect problem until you catch them in the act of destroying your plants. Unfortunately, by this time they may have already done considerable damage.

A dormant oil treatment is one way to combat insects before they break into full-on feeding mode. Insects like to spend the winter inside your trees where they can lay low, and lay eggs, sheltered from the elements. In the spring, they will emerge hungry and in greater numbers. By using a dormant oil treatment this fall, you will take preventive action against insects. You have a lot of time and energy invested in your trees and shrubs – stopping insects before they become a problem will maintain their longevity!


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