There are so many things to do to keep up with your house it can become overwhelming. Even though fall has just begun, it is time to get started with your fall yard clean up so that you aren’t out in the cold trying to get your home ready for (I can’t actually say the season yet – too cold) the next season.
Start with yard work. Realistically you will be cleaning up the yard for the next few months. The leaves have barely started falling although the acorns have been piling up at my house for the last month.
Annuals and Perennials. They offer so much color and variety but annuals will die after the first freeze and can be removed. You can split perennials in the fall to fill in bare spots in your gardens or share them with friends.
Flower pots – Remove flowers and store pots so that they don’t freeze and crack. Geraniums will come back next spring if you keep them in the garage and occasionally water them. Some plants can handle the transition if you bring them inside before a freeze and put them back out next spring.
Mulch the gardens. This will help with reduce water loss, suppress weeds and help protect your plants in cold temperatures.
Aerate and Seed Yard. Fall is the right time of year to seed for grass next summer. This needs to be done before the first freeze so don’t wait too long. Aerate the yard first to loosen the soil.
Fertilize. Make sure to follow correct timing if you have seeded. Fertilizing in the fall allows nutrients to be stored by the root system of your grass over the winter and will give you a better looking yard in the spring.
Remove the leaves. Try as you might, it is hard to keep up with leaves falling in your yard if you have a lot of trees. There are a variety of ways to remove them or better yet reuse them.
- A good blower can move them. Plan a section of the yard to use leaves as mulch. Use them in the perimeter gardens or a wooded area in your yard.
- You can mow over leaves and let them decompose and fertilize your yard. They need to be mowed to dime sized pieces which may take a couple of passes with the mower. You need to make sure the grass isn’t smothered so if you have too many leaves you may need to remove some first.
- You can collect leaves with a mower and bagger which will cut the leaves and make them smaller or a leaf vacuum with a shredder feature. These methods will help reduce the leaf volume for bagging. Now is the time to invest in something to make your job easier!
- This is my favorite! Hire a group of volunteers to collect the leaves in your yard and support a good cause at the same time!
Garden Hoses – Before the first hard freeze, it is a good idea to remove the garden hoses and drain them. Store them inside a shed or garage to make them last longer.
Spigots – If you have a water valve to the outside spigot, turn it off and then drain any remaining water out of the spigot. Buy an insulated spigot cover to use in a very cold area.
Garden Tools – Clean your garden tools and repair or replace any broken tools. Store inside.
Lawn Equipment – Follow equipment instructions to get items ready for winter. Clean and store inside if possible.
Most importantly, enjoy the beautiful fall colors and weather. Make leaf piles and jump in them!
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons License