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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Get Your Yard Ready for Cooler Weather

Emmaline Harvey
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rake with leaves in autumn

The transition from summer to fall means it’s time to move the fun from outdoor parties to indoor soirees. Take some time now to get your lawn ready for the winter, and you’ll make it that much easier to return to the great outdoors the moment spring has sprung.

When your grass has stopped growing, it’s time to store your mower and any other motorized lawn equipment that will be getting a winter break.

Check with your local authorities to find an environmentally safe place to drain the oil from your tools. If necessary, replace your filters.

Fuel with ethanol in it (the majority of fuel used today) can corrode engine parts if left standing, so drain and reuse your gasoline in another capacity. Learn more about ethanol’s effect on engines here.

Garage Mower - MediaBank - 300x251

Once your motorized tools are drained of all fuel, remove their blades and gather the rest of your bladed tools to give them a good cleaning.

Use a brush with stiff bristles, or a wire brush if rust has accumulated, to remove dirt and other buildup.

After cleaning off all that grime, you’re going to be dirty. Enjoy one final rinse from your outdoor hose because it’s time to pack that away, too.

Unscrew your hoses from their outdoor spigots. Make sure you have completely drained the water from the hoses before coiling them up.

Connect the two ends to prevent any kinks from developing or insects from nesting inside. Hang the wrapped-up hoses off the ground, and indoors, if possible.

Cut off the water lines to your outdoor faucets. Leave the spigots open for a few minutes after cutting off the source to allow all the water to drain out before tightly twisting them shut. This ensures there will be no water trapped in there to freeze and crack your pipes over the winter.

Repeat the same process for any irrigation systems you have in your garden.

Collecting grass clippings in a Home Depot bag.

Once you’re finished with these chores, the only long-term task left will be to rake up leaves as they fall.

Rake your lawn often so that your grass will not be blocked from receiving the sun’s nutrients, and stock up on leaf and refuse bags for easy collection and disposal.

You can deposit the leaves in your compost bin or mulch pile, or check with your local municipality to see if your neighborhood has access to a leaf collection service. You can find additional uses for fallen autumn leaves here

Clean your gutters of fallen leaves at the conclusion of summer and again before winter hits to ensure that you don’t have debris blocking your rain drainage system. You don’t want water building up on your roof going into winter, or you may find yourself with an icy situation down the road.

If cleaning your gutters is too difficult to do regularly, consider installing gutter guards.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!