As the growing season comes to an end, yard cleanup is the last major piece of backyard work that needs to be done.
With the leaves falling, it’s easier to see dead limbs that need to be pruned from trees and shrubs. Use hand pruners for small twigs and loppers for larger twigs. An extendible pole pruner can help you reach higher branches in trees. If you cut off major limbs, you should seal them with wound dressing. Pruning dead limbs from trees in fall will promote better growth in the spring.
The colors off fall leaves make a beautiful carpet on a crisp fall day, but if left on the ground through the winter, you will have a real mess to clean up in the spring. The leaves can matte down and suffocate grass, so rake, blow, or vacuum them onto a tarp. Then drag them to the curb or better yet, add them to your compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile or bin, this is a great time to start one. You can simply fence of a small space in a back area of your yard, or purchase a ready-made compost bin. All those leaves will make great compost for your spring garden!
Trim hedges and evergreens and rake out cuttings. Shape your evergreens removing excess summer’s growth.
If you have bare spots in your lawn, you can add seed. Rake the area first, apply a fertilizer, and then spread the seed. Be sure to keep it watered so it doesn’t dry out. For the rest of the lawn, apply winterizer with weed killer to promote root strength and aid in winter survival. Pick a day when rain is not expected for 48 hours. Planting grass seed in the fall will give you a greener lawn in the spring because the seed can spend the winter generating roots only.
Drain the water from garden hoses and store them so they don’t crack or decay from the cold temperatures. Turn off the water valves in the basement that supply faucets outside. Drain the outside faucets and replace any worn washers to prevent leaks and freezing.
When the final job done, you’re ready to go inside for a hot cup of coffee, put your feet up and start planning all those indoor projects!