During the fall, plants prepare for hibernation by shedding their leaves and storing energy in their roots. While it’s tempting to take a break from yard care during this time, you should instead be preparing for the winter season. Proper planning now will allow your yard to flourish in the spring.
Refer to the following checklist of fall chores to keep your yard looking great and your home safe from infestations this autumn:
- Gather up fallen leaves and add them to a compost pile or use them as mulch in your garden. Leaf mulch can help insulate the soil in your garden during the winter.
- Clean and maintain tools and equipment. Cover the grill, winterize the lawn mower, and sharpen lawn mower blades and other gardening tools (spades, edger, tiller, etc.).
- Sweep or pressure wash the porch.
- If you keep potted plants and outdoor furniture on the porch, plan to bring pots into the garage or shed, and cover furniture to protect it. You may also want to store fabric cushions in the shed to keep them dry.
- Seal up cracks on exterior walls with a caulking gun to prevent spiders and mice from gravitating indoors during the cold winter months. Carefully check for cracks around windows or doors and search for small holes created by utility lines or ventilation.
- Contact a pest control company like Stewart’s to spray around your home.
- Inspect your trees for dead or dying branches and prune the trees once they have dropped all their leaves and entered hibernation. Pruning in late fall is a good idea for a couple of reasons: cutting branches when a tree is hibernating will prevent shock, and it’s easier to see the true shape of the tree without its leaves.
- Clear fallen leaves and debris out of your rain gutters.
- Turn off your sprinklers.
- Trim the lawn extra short. This will improve the appearance of your hibernating lawn, prevent snow mold, and encourage better growth in the spring.
- Fertilize the lawn with a fall fertilizer blend. Because the grass is not actively growing this time of year, nutrients from fertilizer will go straight to the root system. This will give the lawn a head start in the spring when it starts to grow again.