Fall is one of the greatest seasons of the year. There are football games to watch, pumpkin patches to visit, and Halloween candy to hand out. But it is also the last opportunity for you to prepare your yard for a long winter’s rest. Fall yard clean-up shouldn’t be skipped. Properly preparing your yard for winter can not only mean less work come spring but a stronger, greener yard as well. Follow our yard clean-up checklist and your yard will thank you.
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- Clean out debris. Debris like fallen leaves, branches, dead plants and weeds, are the clutter of your yard. And just like when you clean your home, clearing the clutter is the first place to start. Begin your yard clean-up by clearing out the debris in and around flower beds and landscaping. Either toss the plant material or add it to your compost bin. Don’t forget to clean out your gutters as well.
- Clean-up your vegetable patch. Once the first frost hits, most of your vegetables are pretty much done for. Trim or pull out the dead plants. Add a layer of compost to help feed and protect your topsoil during the winter.
- Trim branches and shrubs. Fall and winter winds can wreak havoc on your trees. Trim away any dead or damaged branches before they can fall and damage your home or yard. It’s also the perfect time to trim your shrubs back. A good trim will help promote new growth next spring. But before you cut, make sure your shrubs can handle a fall trim. Some shrubs, like azaleas, form their spring buds in the fall so if you trim now, you’ll miss out on next season’s blooms.
- Mow your lawn short. Once the grass has stopped growing, give it a nice short haircut. Shorter grass blades allow fertilizer to penetrate your grass’ roots. Mow your lawn on the lowest setting, making sure to bag the clippings.
- Rake and aerate your lawn. Give your grass a good raking to clear away leaves and break up any thatch leftover from the growing season. This is also a good time to aerate your lawn, which uses a tool to penetrate the soil, making it lighter and allowing nutrients and water to sink to the roots.
- Fertilize your grass. Good fall fertilizer will help your lawn green up earlier in the spring. Most home improvement stores and lawn and garden centers stock this type of fertilizer specifically for fall applications.
- Plant fall bulbs. The earliest spring flowers grow from bulbs planted in the fall: tulips, daffodils, iris, and crocus. These bulbs are planted in the fall because they sprout only after being cooled down. Planting an assortment of these bulbs now means you’ll be rewarded with early color next spring.
- Clear off the patio and decks. It’s time to put away all your flower pots, lawn furniture and cover your grill. Before storing your pots, make sure you get all the dirt out first so frost has nowhere to infiltrate and potentially crack your flower pots. Store your lawn furniture and cushions out of the elements. If you’re one of those people who love to grill all year long, you may want to invest in a grill cover to protect your grill during snowstorms.
- Clean and store your garden tools. Once you’ve completed all your yard work, clean your garden tools before you store them away. Dirty tools can turn rusty over the winter. Scrub off any dirt with a brush, wipe the tools clean and treat them to a light oil coating to ensure they’ll come out next spring looking great.
While you’re spending a couple of fall weekends cleaning up your yard, let The Maids clean- up your home. The Maids offers fall cleaning services so the inside of your home will be just as ready for winter as the outside. Seasonal cleaning services delves into the nooks and crannies of your home, clearing out dust from places you had forgotten for a clean you are sure to remember. We’ll also clean your carpets and furniture with our HEPA-equipped backpack vacuums, which can capture up to 99 percent of pollen and allergens from your home. Contact us to learn more!