As fall inches closer, and the days shorten, our focus on our yard or garden may wane, but now is not the time to ignore your yard. The end of summer and early autumn bring the need of yard prep, to ready your outdoor spaces for the coming harsh weather of winter. Take some time in the next few weeks to attend these little projects to ensure your yard and landscape are ready to weather the winter before making a fresh start next spring.
Light Pruning and Deadhead Harvesting
Your perennials have been growing and blooming all spring and summer. By this time of year, that process has probably started to slow down, with more dead blooms hanging to the stems for a longer period of time. As part of your end of summer landscape maintenance, take the time to pluck off the dead blooms to keep your plants looking neat. For annuals like marigolds, you can store the seeds from the dead blooms to plant the next year.
Some of your plants may also need dead leaves removed or dead branches trimmed. Don’t cut them too far back just yet, as they may still have some blooms or growing to do, but give them a nice trim. Use clean and sharp pruners when trimming your garden back to keep diseases away from your plants.
Reseed/Over-seed your Lawn
All that summer activity from barbecues and parties is bound to have an effect on the condition of your lawn. Grass can get trampled, or even scrubbed up in high-traffic areas, and temporary setups like above-ground pools or tents can have long-term effects on your grass.
Aerate, with a metal garden rake or rototiller, the spots in your lawn that need a little recovery and over- seed these spots. Keep the areas moist and try to keep traffic away as much as possible. As the winter approaches, laying some hay lightly over the new seedlings can protect them from damage.
Service Your Lawnmower
Once the weather starts to cool off, grass growth slows down, which means less, if any, work for your lawnmower. Get a jump on your spring chores and service your lawnmower before you put her up for the winter. Sharpen or replace your blade, change the oil and inspect the spark plugs (if it has them.) The same kind of service could be done for any of your other lawn equipment from trimmers, chainsaws or electric clippers, and while you’re at it, take a look at that snow blower to be sure it’s ready for winter.
Concrete is susceptible to affects from the weather. Any surface that is made up of concrete, slabs, bricks or pavers, should be given a once over as the season changes. Cracks or loose pavers or bricks will only be exacerbated by the cold and snow, so be sure your walking and driving surfaces are in good condition while the weather holds. It will depend on the nature of any anomalies to assess if repairs or updates should be made now or in the spring, but awareness of any existing issues will let you mitigate the severity of weather damage as much as possible, saving you money in the long run.
So say goodbye to summer, and get your yard ready to welcome the cooler weather of fall.