Fall Yard Maintenance Checklist, Tips and Tricks

Fall is in the air and we’ll be spending time outdoors getting our yards ready for Winter. Here are some tricks that might make your work easier.

  • 50 Self Sealing Vegetable Seed EnvelopesDo some stretching before doing any heavy yard work
  • Collect seed from any dying annuals for next year’s crop if you start your own seedlings
  • Remove dead or dying flowers gradually as they die off
  • Remove weeds as you clean the garden to keep them from going to seed and causing a problem next year
    • `boiling water works great on weeds
    •  use vinegar on weeds where you don’t want to grow anything
    •  sprinkle salt in cracks in concrete where you don’t want weeds to grow (again, not where you want to grow other plants)
  • Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears (91095935J)Prune any dead wood from trees and shrubs
    • if you get a splinter while pruning, a paste of baking soda and water applied to the area will make it swell enough to push the splinter at least part way out
    • when doing your Fall pruning and plant dividing and cleanup, use as much of the plant clippings as you can for vegetable garden mulch, then till it into the soil in Spring
  • Stake young trees to protect against Winter wind
  • Gardex Leaf ScoopsKeep leaves raked regularly
  • Lift tender bulbs like dahlias and store in a cool, dark, well ventilated location that won’t freeze
  • Do any required Fall rose pruning
  • Divide overgrown perennials and replant
  • Mulch tender roses and perennials
  • Move any plants or shrubs that have outgrown their location
  • Harvest tomatoes (store on layered newspaper if necessary to ripen), peppers and any other warm season vegetables
  • Dig up the last of the root vegetables before frost
  • Spread manure or compost on the garden to till in next Spring
  • Saffron Crocus 10 Bulbs - Rare Spice - Fall Blooming - Crocus SativusPlant and fertilize Spring bulbs
  • Clean and store bird baths, containers, trellises and stakes (try to leave at least one bird bath out as long as the water won’t freeze)
  • If you don’t have fruit trees, hang a bird feeder in a pergola or tree to keep birds nearby and bugs under control but store feed in a closed container to deter mice
  • Clean, sharpen and store garden tools
    • September and October are great months to get a new barbecue or lawn mower on sale
    • Mowers and Power Tools

      click to see Lawn Mowers & Power Tools

      use the oxalic acid in a cut half of a raw potato or cucumber dipped in baking soda to get rid of rust on lawn or barbecue tools

    • you can try soaking tools in soda pop for more stubborn rust
    • lightly rub metal surfaces with oil after cleaning
    • rub wood surfaces on tools with boiled linseed oil
    • pour used motor oil into a bucket of sand and plunge garden spades in and out to clean and sharpen them
    • if your garbage cans get weighted with water from wet plant material poke a hole or two in the bottom
    • a bucket drilled sideways onto a wall makes a great hose and sprinkler holder, wrap the hose around it and set the sprinkler and/or watering wand inside
    • when closing up the shed for Winter, check the expiry dates on any chemicals and safely dispose of any that are expiring
    • clean clay pots with 25% vinegar/75% water (or up to 50% vinegar) – works well on plastic pots too
    • keep garden gloves in a ziplock bag over Winter to keep them free of bugs and webs
  • Blow out any underground water lines and remove and store hoses for winter
  • Husqvarna 350BT 50.2cc 2-Cycle X-Torq Gas Powered 180 MPH Midsize Back Pack Blower (CARB Compliant)After the leaves have fallen clean your gutters – use a leaf blower and PVC pipes to clean them, no ladder required!
  • Clean lawn furniture before Winter
    • Fall is a great time to get a deal on lawn furniture
    • Patio Furniture & Accessories

      Click here for Patio Furniture & Accessories

      make sure you take care of any rust before Winter makes it worse

    • shelving high up in your garage is great for storing patio furniture cushions
    • slip one leg of a pair of pantyhose over the end of a garden umbrella and one end over the base before storing to keep it clean
    • if you can’t bring wood furniture inside a garage, spray it down and tarp it for Winter
  • Pressure clean and weather protect your deck, pergola, house siding or fences if necessary
    • if wasps or bugs are bad in Fall and you’re entertaining outdoors, inverted cupcake papers with straws poked through them make great cup covers – good for when camping to
    • a pergola with pretty outdoor fabric curtains is a cheap substitute if you don’t have a covered deck
    • fabric seal can make regular fabric suitable for outdoor use if you have curtains or a tablecloth you want to use outdoors
  • AR Blue Clean AR383 1,900 PSI 1.5 GPM 14 Amp Electric Pressure Washer with Hose ReelPressure clean and seal the driveway and/or walkways
    • drive little wooden stakes along the perimeter of your walkway to guide your shovel in winter
    • if snow comes early, a little silicone lubricant spray on your show shovel can make shoveling a lot easier
    • make a pretty paving stone border for a walkway and fill the center with cheaper pea gravel
  • Frostfire 16 Bright LED Wireless Solar Powered Motion Sensor Light (Weatherproof, no batteries required)Check your outdoor garden lighting and do any necessary bulb or fixture replacements or upgrades – its so easy to add wireless lighting now there’s no excuse for dark corners
  • About six weeks before the first expected hard freeze, rake out any moss from your lawn, aerate, then add topsoil to holes or compost and seed to any weak spots
    • some natural fertilizers: alfalfa meal, kelp meal or best yet, compost
    • self propelling, push-button-start mowers are great, and if you use the mulch setting you don’t need to get rid of the grass clippings
    • water a mature lawn deeply but infrequently, and water a new lawn lightly but frequently, but taper down gradually in Fall
    • Dremel A679-02 Attachment Kit for Sharpening Outdoor Gardening Toolsone of the best things you can do for your lawn is keep your lawn mower blades sharp
    • do the final mowing in Fall at a shorter setting than normal to help prevent grass from matting down under leaves and snow
  • If you don’t mind maintaining a small section, you can even grow a Fall/Spring crop of such cold hardy things as spinach, lettuce and other greens, some will grow late into the season, then start up again in very early Spring

Also see:  Winter Pruning

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