The days are getting shorter, and the air is getting crisp. If you’re a homeowner, that means it’s fall yard clean up time. Getting started now means a lot less work next spring. Regardless of where you live, Calgary landscaping cleanup isn’t too complicated.
These 10 quick tips will have your lawn and garden looking great when the weather warms up!
- Rake those leaves. Cleaning up the leaves in your yard will keep your lawn from getting smothered over the winter. Getting started early with a mulching mower will provide your grass with nutrients all winter long. If you have a compost pile, fallen leaves provide nutrient dense mulch, which will decompose over the winter and give you rich fertile compost in the spring.
- Feed the grass. Your final lawn feeding is the most important of the year. Fall feeding helps to build a strong root system and protects your lawn throughout the cold winter months. Use a fall blend fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potash.
- Fall is also the best time to kill weeds in your lawn. You can find many blends that combine a weed killer with the fertilizer.
- Pick up the poop! Cleaning up pet waste before it snows will make spring planting much more pleasant. Most home improvement stores carry long handled pooper-scoopers. It’s a worthwhile investment!
- Aerate your lawn. Your lawn has probably been compacted from all of your summer activities. Aerating your lawn consists of piercing it with an aerating tool to create small holes, which allow water, fertilizer, and oxygen to permeate your lawn. This results in a healthier lawn. I aerate my lawn by wearing aerator shoes while I fertilize! Best ten dollars I’ve ever spent!
- Clean out your garden. Fruit and vegetables left to rot over the winter are an invitation for insects to lay their eggs. In spring, you’ll have an infestation of potentially harmful guests. Taking 30 minutes to clean up your garden will save you time and money combating pests in the spring.
- Disconnect your garden hoses. If possible, turn off the water leading to outside spigots. Leaving your garden hose out all winter long is a bad idea. Any water left in your hose can freeze causing it to expand and crack. If you don’t have an indoor shut-off valve, consider adding one. All it takes is one frozen pipe to ruin your day!
- Underground sprinklers need all the water blown out of them so they don’t freeze and blow the underground hoses and heads. A cheap compressor is well worth the investment, or hire a specialist to get this done. It’s also a good idea to disconnect underground sprinkler systems after having them blown out. See item number seven! You don’t want to spend valuable planting time in the spring digging up your system to find the leaks!
- Plant your spring bulbs early. Taking the time now to plant tulip, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs is well worth the effort. Just make sure to plant before the ground freezes to allow the bulbs to develop. Don’t plant to early or the bulbs may sprout prematurely.
- Give your tools a tune-up! Before you lock the shed for winter, make sure to run the gas out of your lawnmower or add a gas stabilizer to ensure a prompt start-up next spring. Take time to carefully wipe down your garden tools, give them a quick once over with a sharpening stone and a light coating of oil to prevent rusting. The time you spend preparing your tools now will you save time and money replacing them in the spring.
Old Man Winter is on the way. From New York to Calgary, landscaping cleanup time is here! Just remember, a little effort now will give you a healthy, happy lawn next spring.