Luke Kalawsky has a passion for all things trees, plants, and landscape design. He has designed numerous landscapes as the head designer in the Surprise, Arizona region until he became a manager of our Central Phoenix Nursery. He now dedicates his knowledge, expertise, and creative capabilities to help the masses discover how to design, plant, and maintain their landscapes with his writings.
Fall is here! Temperatures are lower, the holidays are around the corner, leaves are beginning to turn bright colors, and right now is the best season to plant! The combination of cooler days and nights allows the soil to sit at the ideal temperature to promote root growth for all your trees and plants.
This is why fall is the best time to plant new trees and plants. The roots of your new plants are able to grow and established best during this time of year. Autumn brings many benefits for your landscape as well as opportunities to seed for winter grass and protect against pests.
Our nursery pros have compiled the best care tips and maintenance advice to ensure your landscape gets the most out of the fall months.
6 Tips to Improve Your Landscape This Fall
1. Update Your Watering Schedule for Fall Temperatures
With the cooler evening and nighttime temperatures, now is the best time to check your watering system. The ground will not be drying as quickly as it was during the summer heat, which means your trees and plants will not need as frequent watering. How much should you be watering your plants during the fall then?
How often you should water your trees and plants during the autumn months will depend on the types of trees and plants that are in your landscape. For many varieties, watering every other or every second day is enough, but the amount of water you use to hydrate your yard will always depend on the specific plant material in your landscape. For watering guides on your specific trees and plants, you can check out our list of care guides here!
2. Fall is the Best Time of Year to Plant in Arizona
In Arizona, there are many benefits of planting during the fall season that make it the best time to plant. Planting now gives your new trees, plants, or palms the best conditions to establish strong, healthy root systems before the spring and summer growing seasons. Planting citrus and fruit trees during the fall will provide you with the best opportunity for fruit this coming spring.
3. Fertilizing for Healthy Growth
Fall is also the best time to fertilize everything in your yard after the summer months. All your trees, palms, shrubs, and other plants will take full advantage of the nutrients and fertilizers you use during the autumn season.
We’ve custom formulated all our fertilizers and nutrient supplements specifically for our region to help everything in your landscape grow strong roots, flower better, and push lush new growth. You can pick up our entire line-up of fertilizers at any Moon Valley Nurseries Location. Additionally, if you’d like professional advice on how to use our Moon Products, we have many helpful video guides on our YouTube channel!
4. Tree Care, Pruning, and Trimming
After the summer, some of your trees and plants may be showing signs of stress. Now is the best time to trim off any dead or burnt branches from your landscape. It is important not to trim more than 1/3 of the tree or plant at any one time.
Once you trim, be sure to water and add in your fertilizers and apply Super Charged Moon Juice™. Our Super Charged Moon Juice™ is like an energy drink for your plants, encouraging healthy root growth and helping them recover from the stresses of summer.
5. Time to Overseed for Your Winter Lawn
Right now is the time to prep for your winter lawn. If you are wondering how to overseed for winter Ryegrass, our pros have covered all the details in 4 easy steps! Check out the steps on how to seed for a winter lawn or watch our video guide, where we cover each element of overseeding for winter Rye.
How to Overseed for Perennial Rye
- Mow your lawn down to a ½ inch or to your lowest possible mower setting. Remove all dead grass and debris to ensure good contact between the new seed and soil. Overseeding a lawn that has not been recently watered will make it easier to work with.
- Loosen the soil using methods such as heavy raking. Prepare your soil using a very thin layer of starter fertilizer, which you can find at all Moon Valley Nurseries. This will help the seeds germinate and provide additional nutrients for the seedlings to thrive.
- Spread the Perennial Ryegrass seed evenly in a side to side, up and down, and diagonal pattern (1 lb. per 100 sq/ft for normal density. For extra density, apply 2 lbs. seed per 100 sq/ft.). After all the seed has been spread, apply a top dressing of soil or mulch over the top of the seed to keep moisture and warmth in and to keep birds out.
- Water your lawn completely and apply Super Charged Moon Juice™ immediately after overseeding. Continue watering your lawn 4-5 times daily for 3-5 minutes; once you notice sprouting, water 2-3 times a day for 5 minutes. When the grass has grown to 3” in height or more, you can mow your lawn for the first time. Reduce watering to 8-10 minutes daily.
- After your second mow, you can reduce watering to every other day for 10 minutes. After mowing your lawn twice, apply Moon Royale Turf Fertilizer throughout the season to ensure a lush, healthy lawn throughout the winter. Keep your lawn cut to a height of 2 inches for the rest of the season.
If you have been wondering about growing a winter lawn, Moon Valley Nurseries is your one-stop shop for perennial Ryegrass! You can find your complete winter Rye lawn starter kit at all our nursery locations, and our nursery pros are happy to help provide any information and advice you need for a beautiful green lawn!
6. Safeguard Your Landscape Against Caterpillars
You’ll want to keep a lookout for caterpillars in your landscape. This is the time of year when these hungry pests may find a way to your plants and can cause some damage if not treated early and correctly.
If your plants have fallen victim to caterpillars, here are some measures you can take to correct the problem:
- If your plants that have been attacked are mature, you can cut back any damaged portions of your plants. Isolate, bag, and dispose of cuttings.
- Use a systemic insecticide drench on all non-edible plants that are susceptible to caterpillar attacks. Make sure to also apply the systemic drench to the surrounding plants to help reduce the likelihood of insects reinfesting your plants.
- Spray plants with proper topical pesticides to kill any remaining pests, further safeguard them from future infestations and allow your plants to begin recovering from any recent attacks.
- Fertilize with Moon Dust™ and Super Charged Moon Juice™ together to promote vigorous growth on newly treated plants. Healthy plants are your best defense against pest infestations.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “what’s eating my plants?” then stop by any Moon Valley Nurseries location and speak with our nursery pros. We will equip you with the materials and knowledge to protect your yard from caterpillars and other pests.
Trees to Plant This Fall
- Chinese Pistache are an excellent low-maintenance shade tree with dense dark green foliage.
- Their leaves turn a vibrant red-orange color in the fall and the new growth has a bright red hue as it comes in, earning the tree's name, “Red Push”.
- They are very cold hardy, heat hardy, and love full sun. Chinese Pistache trees also become drought-tolerant when established.
- Crape Myrtles are the best flowering trees for year-round color. Their large clusters of blooms appear from spring to early fall and they feature red, orange, and bright yellow autumn leaf colors.
- Dependent on the variety, Crape Myrtles can flower in pink, purple, red, white, peach, and lavender colors.
- They love to be planted in full sun, making them perfect as an accent tree, focal point, tree for curb appeal, or any other purpose where you need year-round interest in your landscape.
- Shumard Oaks are a fast-growing shade tree that are perfect for use in a wide variety of landscape applications.
- They have a wide-spreading canopy and with thick, dense bright green foliage.
- These Oaks develop rich, bright, red-colored leaves in the fall.
- Shumard Oaks love full sun, are cold hardy, and become drought-tolerant once established.
- Southern Live Oaks are hardy evergreen trees perfect for use as a shade tree, street tree, or a tree for privacy.
- They are extremely clean and easy to care for and are drought-tolerant when established.
- Live Oaks love to be planted in full sun, are cold-resistant, and can handle very windy conditions.
- Their dense, dark green foliage makes these Oaks great to use as shade trees, or plant them in rows to create a privacy screen.
- Our Piru Queen Palms possess fuller trunks and crowns than standard Queen Palms and are far more acclimated to desert regions.
- These are an excellent choice of palm for planting around pools, and they complement patios and outdoor seating areas with their beautiful tropical appearance.
- Their fuller crowns and excellent heat tolerance make our Piru Queen Palms an ideal palm tree to shade your landscape.
Fall is the perfect time to take care of your landscape and get everything looking healthy and growing strong. Proper fertilization, trimming, and the right watering will go a long way to adding more shade, privacy, year-round interest, and curb appeal to your landscape, as well as making it the perfect place to escape from the day-to-day. If you have questions or need more help, reach out to any of your local Moon Valley Nurseries locations or drop a comment below, and our expert nursery pros will be happy to help!