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Yard Cleanup this Fall – 15 Must-Dos

It’s time for yard cleanup this fall! When autumn comes, it means that it is time to start preparing your garden for winter. Preparing it right now will help in saving time and energy when spring comes, and it will also keep you and your family safe in the yard throughout the year.

Follow this checklist of must-dos for your fall yard cleanup and make sure that your yard is ready so that you can get the most out of it when the new year comes rolling in.

  • Get Rid of Debris: Weeds and fallen leaves are the ideal place for pests to settle in when winter sets in. By clearing out flower beds, you can keep all types of critters away. You should pay special attention to rose beds because the disease can be fostered by their foliage over the winter.
  • Till Your Veggie Garden: After the final harvest, make sure that you pull out all old veggie plants, get rid of debris and till the entire plot completely. If you compost, this is the perfect time to add a layer of compost. This will help in nurturing your soil for next spring’s planting.
  • Trim Branches: If you see any out-of-place or large branches, trim them up so that they do not cause any trouble during the winter. You want to make sure that branches do not fall or break during the snowfall that will be coming.

Yard Cleanup This Fall

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  • Clean the Gutters Out: The yard is not the only place for a fall cleanup. This is the perfect time to clear out debris like leaves, etc. from rain gutters. Check and make sure that there is proper drainage, use a small garden trowel to clear out any blockages and finally, rinse with a hose.
  • Dry Your Equipment Out: Make sure that you drain all water from drip irrigation systems, fountains and hoses and store them in a dry place, like your garden shed. Your equipment may get damaged if you leave water standing over the winter.
  • Aerate: You need to break up your soil to prevent water pooling and make sure that nutrients reach the roots during the cold season. If you have a small yard, all you need is a garden fork, but if you have a larger yard, you may need a walk-behind aerator – you should be able to rent one at an affordable rate.
  • Keep Your Lawn Fed: Make sure that your lawn is fed with the nutrients it needs to survive the long and harsh winter cold. An autumn lawn fertilizer that contains a lot of phosphorus is a fantastic choice as it will encourage the growth of roots and give you a lush, green lawn when spring arrives.
  • Rake Fallen Leaves for Mulch: Fallen leaves can get the best of you – do not let them. If you leave them unattended, the grass can get suffocated. You need to rake and shred them up and make use of them as mulch for flower beds, shrubs, and young trees. You might even skip raking the leaves by using a lawn mower to mulch them instead.
  • Prune Your Shrubs and Trees: Fall is the time to cut back overgrown bushes and trees and trim any dead branches. If your garden has blooming perennials like roses or clematis, this is the perfect time to train the branches and prune them.
  • Mow It: This is a fabulous time to mow your lawn one last time before winter comes. Get your mower on a low setting and give your yard a close shave. This will help the soil in drying out faster when spring sets in, and this will give you a lusher lawn.
  • Divide Perennials: If you had fantastic perennials this year, divide them up and put them in other flower beds where they are bound to grow well. This will save you both time and money in the spring. But do not divide perennials that bloom in the fall like chrysanthemums just yet – you should do this in the spring.
  • Protect Plants Sensitive to Cold: You can keep sensitive roses, shrubs, and perennials in superb condition through the cold winter days. First is adding mulch to the base and then wrapping the plants in cloth barriers so that you prevent any damage from freezing. Depending on your climate and the plant’s hardiness, you can use a single blanket or sheet or wrap them in a combination of plastic and cloth.

Protect Plants Sensitive to Cold

  • Plant Shrubs, Bulbs, and Fall Annuals: There are certain plants that do very well when planted in autumn. If you want to add new spring bulbs like hyacinth or shrubs, this is the ideal time to plant them. Fall annuals, such as pansies, are another fantastic plant to add a little color to your yard while other plants hide away from the cold.
  • Protect the Deck: You should give your deck a terrific power wash to prevent the growth of mildew and mold. You can rent a pressure washer from a garden store if you do not own one. Once you have a clean and dry deck, make sure that you add a weatherproofing stain to keep the wood protected from moisture damage during the cold season.
  • Clean and Store Tools Away: Make sure that you do not just throw your gardening tools into the garden shed and forget about them until spring returns. Take a little time to get them cleaned up well. Make sure that you give them a light coat of oil so that they do not rust during the winter.

This is a salient checklist to follow. With it, you are sure to have a superbly winterized yard that is prepared to give you a lush, green outdoor space when the warm weather comes back. And we know many of you cannot wait for that!

Yard Cleanup This Fall

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About the Author

Greg Bailey is a partner at Outdoor Living Manufacturing Ltd, a value added forest company specializing in do-it-yourself western red cedar kits. He has been in the forest industry for over 30 years and an owner at OLM for over 10 years.

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