During the fall, plants shed their leaves and get ready to hibernate. They store up energy and send down more roots. It’s a busy time for gardeners and homeowners, too.
Just as the plants you tend are preparing for winter, you can take some measures to prepare effectively for the season and ensure that your yard stays beautiful and your home stays secure during the winter months. Proper planning now sets you up for beautiful growth and a healthy yard in the spring.
Here’s a checklist of some things that you should do around your house and yard in the fall in order to keep everything looking great:
- Gather up fallen leaves for compost or mulch. This can insulate and protect your plants during the winter. You can also just mow fallen leaves into your lawn in order to provide some extra organic material for nutrition.
- Clean up and maintain tools in your shed and on your porch. Scrub the grill once you’re finished with summer parties. Clean and sharpen gardening tools like your mower, spades, edger, and tiller.
- Sweep and spray off the porch. Cut away eroded soil that’s lapping onto the edges.
- If you keep potted plants and outdoor furniture on the porch, do what you need to do clear it up for the winter. Take fabric cushions indoors and store them in a bin once they’ve been beaten and effectively dried. Bring outdoor plants inside so that they’re not susceptible to the freeze.
- Spiders and mice tend to gravitate indoors during the cold winter months. Take this opportunity to seal up your house and prevent intruders. Stalk your perimeter with a caulking gun, ready to close up cracks and small holes in your exterior. Check the areas around windows for cracks especially. Look for holes and vents created by utility lines or ventilation. Cover up bigger pipe openings with a mesh grate.
- Look over your trees. Are there any branches that are dead or loose? Is there a risk of them cracking and falling in the winter under the weight of snow, or in a windstorm? Trim and prune trees once they’ve dropped all their leaves and are in hibernation mode. Doing this chore in the late fall is a good time for a couple reasons. First of all, cutting branches when a tree is hibernating will prevent shock. It’s also much easier because without its leaves, you can see the frame of the tree at a glance.
- Clear fallen leaves and debris out of your rain gutters.
- Trim the lawn extra short. This will improve the appearance of your hibernating lawn, and it will also encourage better growth in the spring.