As the weather starts to get cooler, it’s only natural to spend more time indoors. It’s a great time to wash your winter clothes, air out your thick and cozy blankets, and take care of chores like cleaning the fireplace, putting warmer carpets down on top of cold flooring, or hanging winter drapes.
However, make sure you don’t forget your yard. Without preparation, it’s easy for thick loads of leaves, snow, cold temperatures, and blowing wind to damage your outdoor space. Fortunately, there are lots of steps you can take to prep your yard for fall.
When Should You Prepare Your Yard for Winter?
There are a variety of pre-winter chores that you should take care of while temperatures are still pleasant. Many of these tasks have to be done before the frost, or before fallen snow has time to stick around.
Windsor and the Essex County area typically seesnowfor the first time in November, but it’s not unheard of for it to show up before Halloween. Most winter months get between 2 and 13 inches of snow, and it sticks around for at least 50 days of the year.
Follow These Steps to Get Your Yard Ready for Fall
To ensure your yard is ready for colder weather, the Duby’s Home Centre team has compiled a list of some of the most important fall chores. Once these are crossed off your list, you can rest easy and hunker down for winter.
1. Put Away Summer Toys and Furniture
As you begin to spend less time outside, you should think about cleaning and storing the toys and furniture you use for winter. Furniture like chairs, sun loungers, and anything upholstered should be tidied, cleaned off, and stored indoors or at least in a covered area.
Any toys like your children’s bikes, scooters, slides, and kiddie pools should be hosed down, cleaned and dried carefully, and moved into a sheltered space. This helps to avoid rust and damage during the winter months when they’re not in use.
2. Overturn Vessels Where Water Can Collect
As it begins to rain more frequently, make sure you examine your yard for areas where rain may collect. Mosquitos can be active even after summer is over, and homeowners should be careful to eliminate any areas of standing water where mosquitos can breed.
Mosquitos can lay eggs in minuscule amounts of standing water, so it’s important to comb your yard carefully to ensure you’re not facilitating a mosquito infestation. Check buckets, pots, birdbaths, or even pool covers, and store them so they can’t collect rainwater or dew.
3. Rake Leaves
As the leaves start to fall, make sure you’re getting out regularly and raking them up off your lawn. It’s tempting to leave them as they are and let nature take its course, but if you let leaves sit, they’ll soak up water and smother growing grass. A big, sodden mat of leaves can also promote the growth of fungus, which can cause major problems for people with allergies.
4. Drain Your Hose
To avoid having to re-purchase a new garden hose every fall, you should drain your hose well and store it indoors for the winter. If you leave it outside and the temperatures dip below zero, the water inside the hose will freeze, expanding and causing cracks and leaks.
If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of having to drain every last drop of water out of a 25 or 50-foot hose, we’ve got a useful tip for you. Either use an air compressor to blast the water out, or uncoil your hose and drape it along a slope so all the water flows out one end.
5. Prepare Your Yard for Snow
These days, snow in Windsor and Essex County can arrive any time after mid-October. To prep your yard for snow, make sure all of your cables are put away and cut your grass down to between 1-2 inches. Grass won’t be growing as quickly in the fall, so you can give it one last trim and know that it will stay relatively short throughout the winter.
6. Aerate Your Lawn
Most lawn care experts advise aerating your yard at least a few times a year. This makes it a lot easier for both oxygen and fertilizer to reach right down into the roots of the grass, keeping it strong and healthy. Without aeration, it’s easy for your grass to get compacted by foot traffic, suffocating its roots.
It’s best to aerate your yard in the fall, rather than the spring or summer, which would only encourage the growth of weeds. You can easily rent an aerator, or hire a lawn maintenance company to do it for you.
7. Fertilize to Encourage Future Growth
Once you aerate your lawn, you can fertilize it to encourage more robust growth in the spring. Fertilizing in fall ensures that the fertilizer can reach down to the roots, which will keep growing throughout the winter even as the growth of the grass leaves slows down.
8. Keep Gutters Clean
Cleaning your gutters may not be a fun chore, but it’s one you should be doing regularly. Give your gutters a good sweeping before fall sets in, so you can make space for the inevitable glut of leaves that will fill it up. Then, before temperatures hit freezing, go through one last time and clean out all the dead leaves. This helps ensure good drainage and protects your roof from water damage.
Get Everything You Need for Fall Chores at Duby’s Home Centre
Still working through your list of chores that need to be finished before cold weather hits? Come in to Duby’s Home Centre, where we can help you get everything you need for lawn maintenance, home care, and much more. Whether you’re looking for outdoor paint, plumbing materials, or anything else for a kitchen or bathroom renovation, we’re always here to offer advice and support.