Fall Prep Series, Part 1: Around the Yard
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Getting your yard ready for winter takes more than just shutting off the sprinklers. If you live in an area that typically gets snow or below freezing temperatures, there are several things you’ll want to do to make sure your yard is prepped for the harsh season ahead. And that all starts in the fall before any of the really bad weather comes.
All around the yard, there’s some general end-of-season cleanup you’ll want to perform. Starting with the lawn, aeration is recommended in the spring and the fall to get the soil much-needed air, water, and nutrients. By aerating, you’ll have a much better lawn come spring.
In addition to aeration, feeding your lawn with a high-phosphorus fertilizer and giving it one last mow and good watering will also help all those nutrients sink in. Now would also be a good time to reseed any dead or worn patches.
While that final watering is taking place, perform a sprinkler check-up to make sure everything is running well. If there are any problems, it’s good to fix them now – by spring you may have forgotten or they may have worsened. Also, problems like leaks and cracks in pipes or sprinkler heads can let water in, even after you’ve winterized. This water can freeze and lead to expensive damage.
When it comes to garden beds, fall is the time to pull up annuals and vegetables and prune your perennials. Now is also the time to plant bulbs for next year.
As far as your trees go, rake up leaves and use them as mulch around your flowerbeds, giving the soil good nutrients. If there are any dead branches, remove them. Heavy winter storms can cause branches to break, damaging the tree and possibly other parts of your property.