As the seasons begin to change again, and the cooler fall weather is arriving, this is the perfect time to spend some time outside preparing your yard and garden for the coming winter months. While many people think of spring as the season to work in your yard, professional landscapers and home inspectors know that the fall is the best time to work in the yard, complete home maintenance tasks, and set your gardens and yard up for success come springtime. It is common, over the first few months of fall, to spend less time in your yard than you did during the summer. However, there are a few simple tasks that you can work on to prepare for winter and ensure ideal growing conditions once winter is over.
Read on to learn about the most important fall landscaping and maintenance tasks to complete to keep your home and your yard healthy and thriving all year long.
Reseed and Fertilize Your Lawn
This is the time to address any bare patches on your lawn. Early fall is the best time to sow grass seed for the cool season because the soil beneath is still relatively warm and rainfall is particularly plentiful. This makes for ideal conditions for the grass to root, ensuring it will grow thick and lush come springtime.
This time of year is also the best time to fertilize your lawn. Spreading fertilizer in October and November will help to stimulate root growth before the ground becomes freezing. By working to strengthen the roots of the grass now, you will help your lawn survive the harsh conditions of winter, as well as promote speedy growth once spring arrives.
Cut Back Shrubs and Trim Dead Limbs & Branches
If you are thinking about trimming back your existing shrubs and bushes, fall is the time to do that. Doing this job in early fall means that new growth will have a chance to harden off before the first major frost comes. This will help your shrubs to be in strong and healthy shape by springtime.
Trimming dead or diseased limbs off your trees is also a good task to complete in the fall months. Identifying dead limbs is easier while the trees still have leaves on them. Removing the weaker branches before they become covered in snow and ice is important as the additional weight of the snow could cause them to break, which poses a safety issue for both your home and your family members.
Cover Flower Beds with Leaves
While it may be tempting to rake and bag up all the fallen leaves in your yard, those leaves actually offer excellent protection for your flower beds over the winter months. While the look of leaves covering your flower beds may not be ideal, the organic matter of the leaves will actually work to insulate your plants from snow and ice, which keeps them healthy as the colder months set in.
Clean out your Eavestroughs
While most trees don’t drop a whole lot of leaves or sticks throughout the summer months, by the end of the fall your eavestroughs and gutters will probably be quite full. Take the time before winter sets in to clear out clogged gutters and eavestroughs. This will prevent ice dams from forming in winter and overflowing gutters come springtime.
Fill Foundation, Pathway, and Driveway Cracks
Fall is the best time to fill any cracks in your driveway, foundation, or pathways. When water gets inside a small crack, the freezing temperatures will turn that water into ice, which will expand and further widen the existing cracks. If you take the time now to fill those cracks you will prevent the damage from becoming worse.
Stock Up on Snow Removal Equipment and De-Icer
You don’t want to wait until the first big snow or ice storm of the season to realize you don’t have the appropriate snow removal equipment. These supplies are essential to keep your walkways, stairs, and sidewalks clear. Stock up on shovels and salt-free de-icer in the fall to ensure you are ready when the cold weather comes.
Sweep Off & Inspect Your Roof
Fall is the best time to clear off your roof and inspect it for signs of damage or areas that need repair. Once the majority of the leaves have fallen off the trees, it is a good idea to sweep the leaves off your roof, as once the snow and ice come the weight of the leaves and debris will potentially cause damage or weaken the roof. If you aren’t comfortable or it doesn’t feel safe for you to inspect your roof, hire a professional to take this task on.
Hire a Building Inspector
Apart from the tasks listed above, one of the best things you can do to ensure your home and yard stay healthy and safe throughout the winter months is to hire a home inspector to do a walk around of your property. An experienced and licensed home inspector can help you examine the more dangerous or hard-to-reach places and catch areas of concern or damage that the untrained eye might miss. At Building Insights, we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality in service and integrity. Contact us now for your free quote!