A Few Fall Cleanup Tips

The kids are headed back to school, 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 Spring arrives again. 

Clean Garden Pots by washing grime & rings away with a 50/50 water and vinegar solution. Works well on both plastic and clay containers. 

Clean out the gutters, but wait until all the leaves have dropped. Check for leaks and any wear and tear and fix now before it snows or freezes over. This will help ensure your gutters are up to the task when Spring rains hit. 

Before storing the patio umbrella away for the winter, take a pair of pantyhose and use one leg to cover the closed umbrella and the other leg to wrap around the bottom (to keep it closed). This will help protect the umbrella yet still give it air to breathe. 

Spray down all patio furniture and if not brought inside (garage) to winter, tarp them. This will help the furniture last a lot longer, especially wood furniture. 

Remove or cover all open containers and pots. This helps protect them when it freezes plus you don’t want to provide pools of water for a mosquito breeding ground in the spring. 

If you have bags of birdseed to feed the birds in the fall and over winter, make sure the bags are in covered containers. Otherwise mice will find them and camp out in your storage area. 

Clean your tools by filling a pail with sand and used motor oil. Dig your garden tools in the mixture to sharpen them up and clean them. 

Rake those leaves,  but don’t worry about getting every last leaf, especially in the garden. They help insulate plants, and as they decompose, they provide valuable nutrients. An even better option would be to mulch the leaves back into the yard. The leaves, especially maple leaves, can act as an organic weed controller.  

Feed the grass. Fertilizing in the fall is like a day at the spa for your lawn. Using a slow-release fertilizer allows the grass to soak up nutrients and – just as important – spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer heat and stress. 

Weed the grass. Weeds germinate in the fall. To make sure there are fewer weeds in the spring, spray a liquid broadleaf herbicide over your yard during the first 10 days of October. 

Mow, mow mow. If you really want your yard to look great, make an effort to mow twice a week with the blade set at 2.5 to 3 inches through mid-October.

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