There is so much to love about the fall season. Colorful foliage, football tailgating and trips to the apple orchard. Fall also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right planning and preparation will save you time and energy when the springtime season rolls around. Take advantage of the crisp fall days with these easy yard cleanup tips.
#1: Clean Up the Yard
Fallen leaves, weeds and dead plants are the perfect places for pests to burrow in for the winter months and call home sweet home. Not to mention, these all can suffocate your grass. Clean up the yard, rake leaves and clear out flower beds to keep any critters at bay and your grass healthy during the upcoming winter months.
#2: Cut the Grass
Set the lawn mower to a low setting and give the lawn one more cut before winter. A short buzz will help the soil dry out quickly in the spring, which will lead to a lush lawn. Cutting the grass could also be done as an alternative to raking leaves if your yard lacks fallen foliage.
#3: Trim Tree Branches
Trim any large or out-of-place tree branches and bushes that may potentially cause problems during the winter months. You don’t want any tree branches breaking or falling during the first snowfall. Yikes!
#4: Clean the Gutters
While you’re out in the yard cleaning up after the fall season, check the gutters and clear any excess leaves or other debris from the rain gutters. Check for proper drainage and clear out any blockages with the garden hose.
#5: Till the Vegetable Garden
After the final fall harvest, remove any debris from your vegetable garden, pull out old flowers and vegetable plants then till the entire garden plot. If you practice composting, add a layer of fresh compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.
#6: Aerate and Feed the Lawn
Break up the soil in your lawn to keep water from pooling over the winter months. This will also allow nutrients to reach the soil roots over winter. A garden fork will work just fine or you can rent an aerator from your local hardware store. To make sure your soil survives winter, give your yard nutrients by using a fertilizer that encourages root growth.
#7: Protect the Deck
Give the deck or back patio a good sweeping with an outdoor broom, then prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving it a good scrub with the garden hose or power washer.
#8: Drain and Dry
After you are done using the garden hose for the final time, drain all of the water from it and store it in a dry place. Do the same with irrigation systems or decorative fountains. Water left standing over the winter months may freeze causing unwanted damage to these items.
#9: Prep Plants
Protect cold-sensitive plants like roses, shrubs and perennials so they survive the cold winter months. Add mulch or mulched fall leaves to the base of the plants and wrap in cloth barriers to prevent any damage that can be caused from freezing. Plastic, old bed sheets or blankets work well. If you plan on planting fall annuals, get them in the ground now!
#10: Clean and Protect Garden Tools
Wash all of your garden tools and add a light coat of garden tool oil by using a microfiber cloth to protect them against rust during the cold winter season. For best garden tool oils, consult your local hardware store.
#11: Clean the Grill
Your backyard grill may have seen a lot of good cook outs over the summer months, but before you retire it for winter, give it one more thorough cleaning. See our top tips for cleaning your backyard grill.
Follow these tips for a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green landscapes once the warm weather returns.
Looking for a fun family activity to share with the kids once the yard is cleaned up? Try this fun recipe to create your very own candy aquarium jar!