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LOCAL EXPERT Landscaping, Early Freeze & Fall Cleanup


by Eric D. Bruss, APLD, Owner of Bruss Landscaping

Q. Thanks to the early freeze and light snow, we never got our fall cleanup completed. Will everything be OK?

A. This has been a common concern recently. We too had a very hard time completing our fall cleanups this season. In general you need not be overly concerned for your landscape due to excessive leaf cover in bed areas. Lawn areas will pose a slightly different concern depending on the upcoming winter. If we have extensive snow cover with fluctuating temperatures, then lawn areas will be more prone to snow mold with a heavy leaf layer. Unfortunately, at this point you will need to just wait it out and see what Mother Nature brings. The key will be to make sure you do a good thorough spring cleanup next year, and try to do it as early as possible. If areas of your lawn are damaged from snow mold, rake the areas to remove the grayish-brown surface layer. Typically these areas will green up with early season grass growth. Areas that fail to green up by early May have deeper damage and will require an over-seeding to help them recover.

As to your plantings, they are naturally accustomed to leaf debris around their root zones during the winter months. This layer will actually provide an insulating buffer that benefits the root zone in times of deep freeze. It is again important, however, to do a good cleanup in the spring as leaf build-up in your landscape beds then can cause crown rot to certain species of plant material.

ask an expert Eric D. Bruss, APLD is the owner of Bruss Landscaping, Inc. Bruss landscaping has been providing high quality landscape design and installation services to the area since 1952. Please contact Bruss Landscaping at (630) 665-1600, www.bruss landscaping.com, or visit our display gardens at 1607 E. Roosevelt Road in Wheaton.

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