A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care


An attentive gardener performs landscape maintenance tasks throughout the entire year. Fall is a great time to perform chores that will prepare your landscape for the winter and help it thrive next spring. Here is a guide to late-season landscape care.


An attentive gardener performs landscape maintenance tasks throughout the entire year. While there is work you can do during all twelve months, the majority of your efforts will unfold during the growing season spanning from spring through summer.

However, for the best garden results, it is crucial to continue your care into the fall as well. To do so successfully, you need to know which chores are most beneficial at this time of year. This article will help you finish the season strong with a quick guide on late-season landscape care.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Prune Woody Plants and Perennials

It is common practice to prune plants at the start of the year during spring. This approach is popular because it proves to be highly beneficial to the development of many tree species. But what can work just as well is to prune later in the season instead. In fact, there are a few distinct benefits to pruning woody plants in the fall.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care

Since many trees and shrubs lose their leaves in fall, pruning them at that time can make for less of a mess than if you did your cutting while the leaves were in. Removing limbs in anticipation of winter can also help trees avoid damage from snow. With fewer branches, it is far less likely that your trees and shrubs will accumulate more snow than they can safely support.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care

Fall is also a great time to cut back your perennials. At this stage of the year, most perennials will be spent and will begin to dry out. At that point, many of their ornamental features will have declined or disappeared. What is left is a plant that is brown and lifeless. Cutting perennials to the ground is a great way to keep your beds neat and to make way for new growth in the season to come.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care

In general, pruning in the fall is a viable choice for one primary reason. As is the case during winter and early spring, many plants are in a dormant phase in autumn. This dormant phase is the ideal time for pruning and taking advantage of the energy the plant stored from the previous season.

However, you should keep in mind that all plants have specific pruning requirements. Be sure to treat each of your plants according to their individual needs.

Give Your Garden Water and Fertilizer

Winter is typically a very dry season. Because of that climatic change, it is essential that you prepare your plants for a decrease in moisture. One of the best ways to do that is to provide your plants with plenty of water in the fall. Since this is the last part of the year in which you will be watering your plants, give them as much moisture as you can.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care

The same is true for fertilization. Fertilizing your trees and shrubs in the fall is a great way to help them find the energy they need to survive the harsh winter conditions to come. 

Be Ready to Protect Vulnerable Plants

Along with colder temperatures, winter also brings harsh winds and ice. Unfortunately, those elements can damage your plants, and some plant species are more vulnerable than others. To prevent such damage, you can use one of these three methods:

Each of those tactics will work well for protecting plants in winter. Read on through the next few sections to see how each process should play out.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Winter Wind Protection

Most of the plants in your garden should have no issue surviving outdoors throughout the entire year. However, some plants are more susceptible to winter wind damage and need protection. These are usually trees and shrubs that produce leaves and flowers in the early spring. In that time of year, a late-season windstorm can easily destroy the petals and foliage.

Here are a few tactics you can use to protect your trees and shrubs from winter wind:

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Over-Wintering Your Potted Plants

If you grow some of your plants in pots, there is no reason you cannot bring them inside to protect them in winter. This process is called overwintering and is a fantastic option for plants that thrive in a slightly warmer climate zone.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Greenhouses for Your Plants

The main purpose of a greenhouse is to give your plants a consistently warm growing environment despite local weather conditions. While a full-scale greenhouse is a major investment, you will be happy to find that there are many mini-greenhouse options that serve the same role at a smaller scale.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Anticipate Spring by Planting Bulbs

Fall is a fantastic time to plant bulbs that will flower in the spring. What is important to remember is that not all bulbs should go into the ground in the fall. Typically, only bulbs that bloom in spring should be planted in fall. Here are a few plant options that fit into that group:

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
A Few Late-Season Lawn Care Tips

Your lawn will usually look its best in spring or summer. But what you do in the fall can contribute greatly to the lushness of your grass. Since your lawn care strategy should change late in the season, we thought it would be beneficial to share these autumn lawn care tips:

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care
Do One Last Clean-Up for the Year

Your final landscape task of the year is to do one last yard clean-up. At this time, you should remove fallen leaves, branches, and other types of debris that have accumulated in your garden.

A Quick Guide to Late Season Landscape Care

While it’s true that a moderate amount of dead leaves can act as a form of compost to add nutrients to your soil, too many leaves can cause an issue. Most notably, a pile of leaves that becomes wet can harbor harmful fungi and bacteria that may later afflict your plants. So if you want the best for your landscape, perform a fall clean-up and follow the other tips in this post.