We never want winter to catch us off guard but it sometimes happens to arrive a bit earlier than expected. To avoid having to rush at the last minute, you should start preparing during the fall. There are things both inside and out of your home that you need to ensure are working properly and will not be damaged by the colder weather. To help you out, we made a checklist including some of the most important tasks concerning your yard that you need to deal with before winter comes. Take a look below.
Take Care of Your Lawn
When it comes to your lawn, there are several tasks you need to do even though some grass is dormant during the winter. First, make sure to regularly rake the leaves or use a leaf blower as dealing with smaller amounts a few times is going to be much easier. You can also choose to leave some leaves on the lawn to act as mulch – however, make sure that it’s not a thick layer as the rotting leaves might smother the roots of the grass. Then, you need to mow the lawn every ten days on average before the snow falls or the ground freezes. Cut it as short as you can as that will reduce the risk of fungus damage once there is snow. It’s also recommended to aerate and fertilize your lawn during fall and water it regularly as well.
Prepare Your Garden
Start by harvesting all the products that you can use and cleaning up the rotting plants. However, some old plants can be buried in your garden to add organic matter to the soil. Then, you should remove all invasive weeds to prevent them from disrupting the next crop. Once that is done, you can add some amendments to the soil and cover the garden bed with a plastic sheet. The next step is dealing with your plants. Seeing as how there are some plants that grow in winter as well, you can look into adding them to your garden. Depending on the perennials you have planted, see whether they need to be pruned or not because certain varieties prefer spring pruning. Moreover, to prevent freezing, use the leaves that you’ve raked, as well as some mulch or compost, and place them around trees and shrubs. Lastly, plants that have gotten too big for their current area can be transplanted during fall.
Trim Any Dead Branches
While there are some plants that should not be trimmed or pruned in the fall because that leaves them exposed to the harsh winter, there are some things that are necessary for you to cut. For instance, if there are any tree branches hanging above your house, you should think about trimming them, especially if they’re dead. In case there is a lot of snow, these branches can crack under the pressure and fall on your home. To prevent a scenario like this, it’s best to hire a nifty cherry picker that will allow you to easily reach the trees and trim them.
Clean Your Tools
Once you are done with most winter tasks, you should service, clean and oil all your tools. Sharpen the blades on your lawnmower as well as other garden tools, clean everything properly and make sure nothing is rusty. If there is rust, remove it with a wire brush or sandpaper. Don’t forget to oil them up to extend their life. This way, when the weather gets nice and you need to use them again, they will be ready to go. Also, if some tools are faulty or you no longer need them, you should throw them away or donate them if they’re still in good shape.
Protect Your Outdoor Furniture
In addition to the tools, you should also protect your outdoor furniture. If you have a shed where you can keep these pieces, it’s best to put them in storage before the rain and snow can damage them. If you don’t have anywhere to keep them, you should do your best to protect the furniture. If it’s made of metal, make sure to clean them and repaint them to prevent rust. If the furniture is wooden, seal them and at least find a place to store the cushions. Of course, if you have a covered patio, you can leave them outside and still enjoy having a morning coffee there. Also, don’t forget about any outdoor appliances such as the grill.
Don’t Forget About Your House
While outside, you should also check your home’s exterior. See whether there are any damp spots on the walls. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are not blocked, to prevent overflowing water from damaging your walls and foundation. If there are any leaves or branches, clean the gutters. Furthermore, inspect your roof for leaks and missing shingles. You don’t have to climb on the roof, you can do it from the ground or the cherry picker. Finally, disconnect and store your hoses and sprinklers and insulate any outdoor pipes and faucets to avoid freezing and bursting.
These six tasks are the most basic things you need to do in order to get your yard ready for winter. Start right away and you will not be unprepared once winter arrives.