When warm summer nights turn cool, it only means one thing: the time has come to get your yard ready for the new season. We went straight to the professionals to find out what they do to the exterior of their own homes to ensure come spring, their grass is green, flowers are blooming and more.
Aerate the lawn.
If you want your yard to be green and healthy, aerate, which will pierce holes in your soil to allow water and fertilizer to seep deeper. "This will make sure you have a great looking lawn next year," says Bryan Clayton, CEO and co-founder of GreenPal.
Overseed the turf.
After aerating the lawn, Clayton recommends sprinkling your yard with tons of grass seed. "Fall is the absolute best time of year to do this as the temperatures are cool enough for the seed to germinate and get established for the following year," he says.
Remove dead annuals.
Clayton is right when he says nothing looks worse than dead annuals in a baron winter landscape. "Performing this chore before November 1st will put you in good shape for the upcoming winter," he says.
After disposing of annuals, cut back dead and wilted stems on herbaceous and perennial plants. "This will give your backyard a tidy look," says Desiree Thomson, a professional gardener. Some of these plants can even be divided and distributed around your yard.
Inspect the fence.
To prevent any issues in your fence from getting worse during the colder seasons, Thomson recommends inspecting yours and fixing any holes, chipped boards or broken pieces. "You can even give it a fresh coat of paint while you're at it," she says.
Pick up leaves.
Otherwise, the places leaves pile up will kill your grass. "Leaves also contain different bacteria and when left in mulch beds, they can alter the chemical makeup of any flower garden," says Teris Pantazes, co-founder of efynch.com.
"Clearing gutters on the roof helps you avoid all kinds of problems, like wood rotting along the roof line," says Clayton. "You'll be glad you did." If you don't own a ladder, buy a gutter cleaner head you can extend the length of the handle on.
Drain pools and ponds.
Leaves that falling into pools and fountains will clog pumps, dirty water and introduce algae, according to Pablo Solomon, a green designer. "I drain my pools and ponds until the leaves quit falling and then give them a thorough cleaning and refill them for the winter," he says.
Refill bird feeders.
As the weather gets colder, it's harder for birds to find food. "Think about your winged buddies and refill the bird feeders, or, if you don't have one in your garden, now is the perfect time to make (or buy) one," says Thomson.
Thomson points out that planning is an important part of preparing your garden for the next growing season. "You should plant bulbs of spring-flowering plants in September, because the soil is still warm and they will get enough moisture from the rains," she says. Pro tip: A drill attachment makes this way easier.
Plant hardy veggies.
Another variety to focus on: vegetables. "When winter comes, you'll be glad you planted carrots, broccoli, onions, peas, spinach and more to make delicious soups," says Charlie Capps, director of gardening for windowbox.com.
Check the driveway.
"Ice is the top killer of driveways," says Pantazes. "Look for cracks and have them filled." This will help prevent minor issues from becoming bigger (and more expensive) come spring.
Light the way.
Since shorter days and longer evenings are ahead come fall and winter, it's important to set your yard up to prevent injuries. "Make sure pathways are well lit to increase safety for you and guests alike," says Capps.
Clean and store furniture.
"If you leave it out during the constant rain in the autumn, and the harsh winter conditions, garden furniture gets damaged and you can't repair it that easily," says Thomson. Meaning your furniture will last way longer if you do this one simple chore.
If you've never taken a soil sample, September is the best time to do it. "Assessing your soil health in the fall gives you time to correct nutrient deficiencies and pH problems before spring," says Sid Sexton, owner of Sexton Lawn & Landscape.
Source: Lauren Smith - House Beautiful
As usual, should you be interested in buying or selling a home, or for any further information regarding your home, please contact me, Karen Borden, your North Alabama Real Estate Professional!