A yard to fall for

Local gardeners offer tips for change in season

It happens soon after summer vacation ends and the last kid returns to school—the hints of autumn. 

Shorter days, browning leaves and cooler breezes have all become irrefutable signs of the season that is now falling upon us (pun intended). But as any season changes, so should one’s approach to maintaining their home garden or landscape. The fall season, for instance, should be paid close attention to by those wanting to adhere to their home’s landscape. 

Nick Huston, nursery manager of the GardenMart in Hollister, suggested that once the heat of summer ceases, so should the constant ogling of summer gardens.

“Fall is the time when people are going to want to be getting out in their yards and planting any kind of stuff,” Huston said. “It’s still going to be warm these next couple of months, so it’s a good time to get [plants] situated.” 

Though he said “almost anything” can be planted during the fall months, Huston recommended choosing flowers or plants based on when owners would like to see them to bloom. Perennials, for instance, are best to plant during the fall months so they’re well-rooted and ready to blossom in the spring. 

And while many plants go dormant during the winter, Huston said there are some plants that will remain evergreen and even flower during the winter months. 

“I’m guessing this is something most people don’t know,” he said.

For those wanting to learn more about what works best in their yards, GardenMart offers a Plant Concierge Service. 

“We come out to people’s houses and talk with them about their yard; help them decide what to put in their yard,” Huston said. “They can then come back to the nursery and look at options of plants.” 

Customers can opt to use the GardenMart’s planting service, as well, if they prefer. 

The GardenMart also offers plant care and replacement service for anyone hoping to scale back or replace their landscapes.

“If there is stuff in your yard that’s already situated, and it just needs cleaning and trimming, now is the time to be doing that,” he added. “Through the summer, most things get beaten down with the heat.”

Those hoping to avoid the regimen of maintaining their yard every fall—or any season, really— may want to consider a low-maintenance alternative to the typical garden landscape; one that Herman Solis, owner of Solis Landscaping and Construction in Hollister, offers his customers. 

“We specialize in making people’s lives simple,” Solis said. “Most of my clients are seeking maintenance-free yards—they are people coming in from the San Jose area who still work there and need to commute. So whenever they do have free time, they don’t want to spend it in their yard doing any upkeep; they want to relax.”

While his landscape construction company specializes in pavers (they redid the courtyard at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, including commemorative blocks into the pathway), Solis also stays busy building such amenities as shade arbors, rock gardens, low-voltage outdoor lighting, artificial turf and outdoor kitchens. 

“Things that are pretty much maintenance-free,” he said. 

And when his clients want to bring color into their landscapes, Solis has a list of possibilities that will help keep yards low-maintenance.

“[We will plant] a lot of drought-tolerant California natives,” he said of his company. “Once they’re planted, they’re virtually maintenance-free. You prune them up every once in a while, and that’s about it.”

He will also suggest drought-tolerant groundcovers, as well as artificial turf, to his customers. “Artificial turf requires a bit of maintenance, but it’s very minimal,” he said. 

While Solis Landscaping and Construction is self-described as an “extreme landscape construction company,” it also provides existing landscape repair and landscape demo and removal.

GardenMart is located at 410 Spring Grove Road. Call 831.245.9269 for information. 

Visit Solis Landscape and Construction at www.solislandscapeconstruction.com and on Facebook @solis.landscape, or call 831.902.0227 for information.

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