The kids have been back in school for awhile, the leaves are turning and a chill is in the air. If you’re like most homeowners, fall also means an opportunity to spruce up your yard and cut down on the work you’ll need to do when the weather turns warm again. A little bit of work in the fall will really pay off with spring rounds around.
- RAKE THOSE LEAVES - Once the snow flies, an unraked layer of leaves can get matted down over the turf and smother it all winter long. Raking or using a mulching mover in the fall helps avoid dead patches in the spring. But in the garden, don’t worry about getting every last leaf as they help insulate plants, and as they decompose, they provide valuable nutrients.
- MOW A FINAL TIME - Trim turf down to 11/4” for the last cut of the season. Disease has a harder time with shorter grass, and fallen leaves blow across the lawn because they have nothing to latch on to. Don’t go too low though.
- FEED THE GRASS - Fertilizing in the fall is like a day at the spa for your lawn. Using a slow-release fertilizer allow the grass to soak up nutrients and, just as important, spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer heat and stress. And building a healthy rejuvenated lawn is one of the best ways to protect against heat, cold, drought, insects and other stresses.
- AERATE THE LAWN - If rainfall pools on the grass, it’s time to aerate compressed soil so water and nutrients can reach the roots. A garden fork can do the job on a small yard, or a power aerator for larger areas.
- WEED ALL ABOUT IT - Weeding in the fall is probably the most valuable thing you can do to prepare for spring, and it’s one many people overlook.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR GARDEN - Fruits and vegetables left in the garden can rot all winter long, and provide a comfy home for insect eggs so be sure to clear them out. Now is the time to get rid of diseased plants too, but keep them out of the compost pile so the problems do not spread.
- TRIM DEAD LIMBS - Lifeless branches can succumb to winter snow and winds, endangering you and your home. You can take care of the small trees by cutting cracked, loose and diseased limbs close to (but not flush) the trunk. Leave the wounds exposed to heal. Call in the pros for bigger jobs.
- GIVE YOUR TOOLS A TUNE-UP - Wipe down your tools and remove any dirt and debris on your tools before putting them away for the winter. You can even apply a light layer of oil to keep them all from rusting.