Many people consider fall as the best season of the year. The cozy sweater weather, nostalgic colors, warming bonfires, fun-filled Halloween, and of course – the wonderful pumpkin flavors… What’s not to love about the fall? Unfortunately, we’re down to the last few weeks of November and the only thing that’s making us excited about the winter are the holidays. Oh yes, the holidays!
But just as you want to make the most out of the fall season, you should also give time for the ‘dirty work’ and prepare your home for the cold season ahead. It’s the time of the year again when we roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.
Fall cleanup is important to keep disease-causing pests and bugs out of your home and protect your family against the winter hazards.
Fortunately, fall cleanup isn’t as difficult and tiring when you know what to do. In this guide, learn about the essential things to do to keep your home clean and pest-free, inside and out.
Fall Cleanup: Everything You Need To Do Before Winter Arrives
Protect your plants
You probably have plants that are highly sensitive to the cold weather. Tarps, plastic sheets, and drop cloths make excellent covers for vulnerable plants. Low plantings can be covered with mulch for a short period of time. Remove the mulch once the danger of frost subsided. Water the soil thoroughly as wet soil holds heat much better than dry soil. You can also spray anti-transpirant (which you can buy from your local nursery) to cold-sensitive plants to seal in moisture.
Clear out debris
A lawn covered in fallen leaves sure looks picture-perfect. But if you don’t remove them anytime soon, those orange or golden-brown leaves will turn into black, smelly, and moldy piles of debris and make a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, bugs, and other pests. Instead of grabbing a rake, you can save much time and energy cleaning fall leaves using a mower.
Clean the gutters
You want to give your home a deep clean so make sure to include the roof. Gutters are an integral part of your home. They control the flow of rainfall to protect your roofing system, walls, and landscape against water damage. A gutter clogged with leaves, dirt, and debris can trigger leaks or water damage on your home interior and exterior. Using a garden trowel, scoop large debris into a garbage bag and wash your gutters with a pressure nozzle. Scrub it clean and check for any holes.
The great thing about using a lawnmower for clearing leaves is that it shreds them into tiny pieces, producing a natural mulch. Fall mulch is needed to retain soil moisture, protect bare soil from possible erosion, and prevent weed growth. Mulch will also keep the soil warmer in winter and protect your flower beds, shrubs, and foliage against the harsh weather.
Protect your outdoor furniture
The last thing you want to happen is to have your precious (and pricey) outdoor furniture drenched in water or snow. The harsh weather conditions during winter can take a toll on your patio furniture. Ideally, outdoor furniture should be stored in a shed or garage. If you don’t have this option, you can cover them with tarps. Before you store or cover the furniture, clean its surfaces thoroughly using a microfiber cloth.
Fall may not be the best time to prune trees, according to landscaping experts. However, if you are seeing damaged or diseased branches, don’t hesitate to do it. Damaged branches are an entryway for insects looking for a place to live and propagate. If the tree is completely dead, it’s best to cut it down before the ground hardens.
Protect the deck
When there’s moisture, there’s mold. When doing fall cleanup, do not forget the deck. If you haven’t been keen on removing leaves from your lawn lately, chances are, they have already caused stains and black spots on your deck. You should power wash your deck thoroughly to remove leaf stains. Dry it properly right after to remove the moisture. Applying weatherproofing stain can also help prevent water damage to wood floors.
Fall cleanup is necessary to protect your lawn. Keep watering and mowing your lawn as necessary. When the temperature starts to drop, schedule the last two cuts of the season. Maintaining a well-cut lawn for the rest of the fall season should help the soil absorb more sunlight. Don’t forget to aerate your lawn. Heavy organic debris can starve roots from getting enough air and water needed by your plants to grow healthy.
Fall cleanup might seem like a daunting task. But it is very important not only in keeping your home beautiful but also in protecting your family against health and safety threats. It’s definitely going to be a tough job, so make sure to enlist the help of family members and friends.