Now that the days of 100+ degrees are well behind us for the year, it’s time to get your plants prepared for everything the cool season has to offer. Many of your plants are ready for fertilizer, minerals, and a good trimming. Just be thoughtful of which plants you’re giving a spa day to; not everybody needs the same amount of care this time of year. Read on to see some tips for keeping your plants happy as the seasons change.
The fall is a great time to give a good trimming to many landscape plants. It’s usually not a good idea to trim your plants too significantly when it’s hot outside. Trimming during the summer causes unneeded stress that can hurt and even kill them during especially hot or dry weeks. Once it’s fall, there’s a window of one or two months when the temperature is just right to make more radical moves with your plants. If the high temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s, it’s time to take action.
Not every plant in your yard should be fertilized in the fall, although it’s a much better idea to fertilize plants in the fall than in the summer. In the heat of the summer, most fertilizers, especially inorganic ones, can burn the root systems of plants and do more harm than good. By November, this isn’t a problem anymore. Many of your trees and bushes are ready for a dose.
Before fertilizing, you need to know whether or not your tree loses its leaves in the winter. If it does, then you shouldn’t fertilize it any time after the last week of October. If you fertilize a tree while it’s trying to shed its leaves for the winter, you’ll hurt the tree’s ability to prep for the winter. The tree could then be more vulnerable to damage during early frosts. If you think your tree really needs a boost after a hard summer, then you can choose an organic plant food that contains micronutrients like iron, manganese, calcium, and boron. Superthrive and Azomite are both solid options for this.
As the weather cools, you also need to pay attention to the irrigation. Overwatering is much more of an issue during the cool season than during the hot season, so be mindful. To see how you should be watering at any given time of year, visit WaterUseItWisely.com and click on “Landscape Watering by the Numbers” for a great guide.
The plants are just as relieved as you are that the heat is over for the year. Just make sure you take the right steps to do more good than harm. Every type of plant requires different specific care. So, if you’re confused, you can consult a professional and do some research of your own at extension.arizona.edu/Maricopa.