Fall is a great season for doing yard work since the cooler temperatures make working outside easier. But start your chores soon so the first freeze of winter won’t catch you unprepared.
Fall Maintenance and Clean-up Chores:
- Add a fresh 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch around new trees, flowerbeds and other plants that haven’t had time to develop strong root systems.
- Prune out dead and weak limbs and branches that might fall, causing injuries or property damage.
- Check your porch or deck and nail down boards or nails that have popped up. Tighten bolts and screws and replace rusted hardware.
- Dig up non-hardy bulbs with a garden fork or spade. You may want to sprinkle fungicide on them before you store them for the winter in mesh or paper bags.
- Dig up or pull dead and dying annuals. Toss them on the compost pile, unless they show signs of pests or disease.
- Fill and put out bird feeders. Add bird baths so wildlife can drink and bathe if rain is scarce.
- Drain and winterize your sprinklers and irrigation systems according to directions if you live in an area where temperatures drop to freezing.
- Turn off water sources and allow all exterior faucets, above-ground valves and pipes and backflow preventers to drain and dry. For added protection from freezing, use self-sticking, insulating foam tape and insulating pouches or covers.