7 Ways to Prep Your Yard for Fall
|September 8, 2013||Filled under Crafting and DIY, Gardening, Sustainable Home|
thank you to Scarlet Paolicchi at familyfocusblog.com and Kalli Georgiakakis for allowing me to reblog these great tips on what to do in your yard for the Fall!
As with most things in life, fall is what you make of it and can be a fantastic time of the year. In your backyard, imagine roasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa by the fire pit or taking a leisurely stroll enjoying the fall colors with a glass of wine in hand. Keep reading for ideas as well as tips, tricks and ways to prep your yard for the fall and make it an enjoyable place to spend time.
Ways to Prep Your Yard For Fall
There just never seems to be enough storage, especially when you have to make room for all the stuff that needs to come in for the winter. You will need a place to store bicycles as well as the patio table and chairs, and perhaps even the BBQ. Fall is the perfect time to de-clutter and organize your garage or shed. A good starting point is to pitch or repair broken items. If something hasn’t been used in a while, either sell or donate it to a better home. Be ruthless. There is no place for clutter in a well-organized space.
Consider adding shelves and hooks to take advantage of vertical opportunities. Not only will this eliminate clutter from the floor, items will now be at eye level. Therefore, much easier to locate and use.
Review, edit and clean
Once the garage or shed has been de-cluttered and reorganized, it is time to take a quick inventory of the yard. Don’t toss everything in storage simply because you have the room. Ask the important questions. If broken – can it be fixed? Have the children outgrown a toy or bicycle? Is the patio set good for another year?
Once the inspection is complete, consider a quick scrub for items like the patio table and chairs, the bicycles and any summer sports equipment. A soap and water solution will work well, but for tougher greasy or grimy spots, try using outdoor bleach. Irrespective, of the storage solution, these items will collect dust and dirt over the winter months. This step will however, make your spring-cleaning much quicker and easier.
Re-seed for a lush lawn
Once the storage area has been organized, it is time to tackle the lawn. It was part of your list of chores throughout the summer, but you never got around to it. There is no time like the present to tackle these lawn spoilers. How you go about it is entirely up to you.
The eco-friendly weed spray options will work on lawns as well as hard surfaces. Designed to kill weeds, they do not affect the grass. For a more labor-intensive activity, consider a weeding trowel. With a long or short handle, these tear into the root and prevent re-growth.
Although, eco-friendly and easy to use, a weeding trowel will unfortunately create holes in the lawn. You can fill and reseed these gaps as well as the patches of dead grass. Remember though, that not all grass seed is created equal. Things to consider when choosing the right grass seed include sun, shade and soil conditions in your area. To keep your lawn looking lush till the first frost, don’t forget to continue to water your grass through the autumn season.
Prune and trim trees
Beautiful trees enhance a great lawn. During the long hot summer days, they provide an escape from the searing sun. They also offer an opportunity for the neighborhood cats to test their climbing skills. In the winter, they dazzle us with their snow-covered branches.
Unfortunately, wet snow can be heavy and unforgiving. Not all tree branches can withstand its weight. Some will snap and drop to the ground. Others will hit power lines as they fall. Power outages and cold temperatures aren’t a good mix. Think about professionally pruning your trees – especially those with branches in close proximity to power lines.
Pruning the trees will not only enhance your yard, but will also make it safer.
Update your container pots
Now is not the time to forget the front entrance of your house. Refresh your container pots with a seasonal arrangement. Not as colorful, but ornamental cabbage and kale make for stunning plantings throughout the winter months.
Check the Roof and Gutters
Most of the work so far has been at ground level. The organized storage shed has dropped some much-needed weight. The lawn is weed free, reseeded and on track to make a spectacular reappearance in the spring.
Now is a good time to grab that ladder from the organized storage area and look up. Conduct a quick visual inspection of the roof. Look for signs of wear and tear. Use this time to get repairs completed.
You may not have any trees on your property, but leaves do travel and are not the discriminating sort. Remove any leaves and branches from your gutters. Once the rain comes in, you want the sweet sound of water travelling through the drainpipes, not a waterfall effect down the side of the house from a blocked gutter.
Keeping up with the leaves
‘Let the chips fall where they may’ comes to mind when leaves start falling. They float and land wherever it suits them. And depending where you live, there can be a lot of them. Ensure that hard surfaces like your driveway and sidewalk are leaf-free. Once wet, they become slippery and can cause someone to fall. And landing on hard concrete is no fun at the best of times.
Raking leaves can be a fun family activity. Get the kids involved. We may not admit it, but we all remember a time when we jumped right into a pile of leaves after neatly raking them together. It is harmless fun, as well as an opportunity to keep the kids busy.
Take advantage of the few remaining warm days to start working on your personal fall sanctuary. Use these ways to prep your yard for fall and right before your eyes, you will see your back yard transform. At the end of the day, you can sit back and enjoy that hot cup of cocoa or glass of wine, guilt free.
(Guest post by Kalli Georgiakakis who is an interior decorator who writes about projects for Home Depot. Besides providing advice on interior décor, Kalli’s interests range from giving tips on lawn care to helpful hints on arranging patio furniture in your outdoor space.)