Top 5 Fall and Winter Chores on the Trail

Most individuals are wrapping things up in their own yards to close the books on the 2020 gardening season. However, The Trail’s gardens are not done yet. We have a slowdown for outdoor work from January to mid-February but even then if the weather is nice we try to work ahead. Here are 5 Horticulture Tasks that keep us busy through the Fall and Winter.

  1. Planting– Fall, before the ground freezes, is the best time to plant for many species. Fall planting allows for roots to establish when the temperatures are cooler and soil moisture higher. More established roots help a lot come the hot dry months of summer. 
  2. Raking Leaves– The classic image of a fall chore. With 525 trees a lot of leaves fall on The Trail each season. Something learned from experience is each species decides to drop leaves on different days/weeks making it a recurring chore. 
  3. Tree Pruning– Trees are low maintenance, not no maintenance. There is a pruning schedule (~130 trees/year) to make sure each tree is limbed up out of the way, maintains a good form, and is free of disease. Bare winter trees are much easier to inspect for pruning and the risk for disease spreading is lower. 
  4. Winterizing the Irrigation– Indianapolis freezes and so can the top 28 inches of soil. If the water from the irrigation system is not blown out and drained the pipes burst, creating large headaches. 2 of us set aside one week at the end of October to finish this task.
  5. Planning and Design– Come January and February the amount of working days is greatly reduced because of the cold. These times are great to work ahead or catch up. This might be purchasing supplies for the upcoming year, professional development classes, designing areas to be planted, event planning, servicing equipment or anything else that happens behind the scenes to make it all come together!

What are you doing NOW to get your yard and landscaping ready for next year? Leave a comment below.