You may think of spring as the season to get going on the garden, but professional landscapers know that fall is actually the best time to work in the yard! Unfortunately, many homeowners make the same basic mistakes resulting in damage that’s too late or too expensive to fix. Wonder no more. Here are some tips to follow to help you take your yard from summer to fall.
Take Care Of Your Lawn
Lay the foundation for a lush spring lawn by fertilizing cool-season grasses in the fall. Spread the fertilizer in October and November to stimulate root growth before the ground freezes. By strengthening roots now, you’re helping your lawn survive a harsh winter and promoting rapid growth come springtime.
During the summer, you want to keep your lawn high to shade out weeds and hold in water, but come fall, cut your grass short to reduce the risk of snow mold, a fungal disease that kills grass as ice and snowmelt. Give the lawn a good trim in late fall, and you won’t have to do it again until spring.
Prepare Your Patio
If you use your patio during the summer, there might be some stray sidewalk chalk or remnants of old water balloons strewn around it. And if you didn’t use it all season long because it was too hot out, there’s probably a thick layer of dirt and dust on your patio and any furniture you have out there. Either way, it’s time to clean!
You can start by sweeping up dust, leaves, and other debris from the patio. If there are any stains on the surface, you can use a spray attachment for your hose to remove them. You might also consider using a pressure washer to prepare your patio for fall, assuming some tough stains are on the ground. Taking the proper steps in the fall will ensure your patio will be ready for the spring.
Prepare Your Fire Pit
Nothing says fall like a crackling fire on a crisp autumn evening. Just make sure your fire pit is prepared to be used quite a bit this season. If you didn’t cover it for the summer, you might need to dust it off, so it looks nice.
Then get it ready for nightly use, depending on what type of fire pit it is. If it’s a wood-burning fire pit, make sure you have plenty of logs ready to go. You’ll also need tinder to start the fire and kindling to keep it going all night. Of course, keep some matches or a lighter on hand as fall begins. And if you have a propane fire pit, make sure you have a full propane tank ready to go.
Prepare Your Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen provides plenty of space to entertain guests or simply cook and enjoy a meal outside. But like many things, outdoor kitchens also bring with them a few tasks to add to your fall to-do list. It is easy to complete these tasks within a weekend, so make sure to do it before cold weather strikes. Not preparing your outdoor kitchen can lead to an expensive start to the cooler weather season.
Take time to clear out any water that might be stored in the pipes. Failing to do this can lead to burst pipes should the weather drop below freezing. Check to see that all drain valves are in the open position so that no water can be trapped. This is also the time to clean the sink and cover it to prevent any scratches.
If you have a grill in your outdoor kitchen, give it a thorough cleaning. Cover all surfaces and appliances subject to cracks, stains, and scratches due to cold weather or debris that might get blown in that direction. If you have cabinetry or stone countertops, now is an excellent time to apply a coat of oil or sealer. Applying a coat of oil or sealer will extend the life of the surfaces and make cleaning them easier.
Be sure to turn off the refrigerator and ice maker. In addition to turning off the water supply, be sure to unplug these units. Then empty each of them of any food that might be stored inside. However, do not cover them with any type of cloth as this can cause moisture accumulation and ultimately damage them.
Remember, the more you take care of now, the easier everything will be to get started again in spring. You work hard to keep your yard looking lovely all summer; now, make sure it grows back that way next spring.