Look, we know you're enjoying summer, but it has to end, right? Now that autumn is just peeking around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take care of the yard work one final time before the really cold weather settles in and our flowering, green yards become a not too distant memory. Plus, all of your hard work now gives you something to look forward to after the spring thaw.
Here we’ve offered a few tips for preparing your yard for winter and ensuring a fresh, healthy start to next spring If you’re thinking of selling your Edmonton home this coming fall or winter, these steps will help ensure you don’t have to make the outside presentable in frigid weather.
As your grass becomes dormant preparing for the winter months and growth is significantly reduced, there are a few things you can do to help make sure your lawn is healthy through the freeze and gets a fresh, green start in the spring.
- Start reducing the height of your mower gradually over the next few cuts to around 1 1/2 “ in length. This will reduce the amount of water your lawn will need during the winter and will reduce the amount of dethatching in the spring.
- Get rid of all those weeds you missed during the summer. Over the fall and winter, aggressive weeds can overtake your lawn and crowd out the grass leaving dead patches and spring issues.
- Rake as much as you can to remove any leaves and dead grass that may have accumulated. Dead leaves are the perfect winter home for pesky grass loving insects. Transfer leaves to the vegetable garden and allow them to decompose over the winter adding much needed nutrients to the soil.
- Aerate, over-seed and winter fertilize to ensure that your lawn is getting all the nutrients it needs over the winter. New seed will become dormant over winter and will begin to grow as soon as the snow melts and temperatures rise in the spring.
Plant, Tree and Shrub Care
All of the plants, trees and shrubs that have provided you with an abundance of colour, greenery and shade throughout the summer could use a little attention during the fall to make sure they’re all healthy and ready for another spring and summer in your yard.
- Trim trees, especially fruit trees, after the first frost to get rid of any dead, overlapping and overcrowding branches. Trim a few inches away from new growth just above each leaf node to encourage new growth in the spring. A less crowded, more natural shape helps to prevent disease and insects.
- Cover root balls with a good layer of mulch to help maintain moisture and trap heat and wrap sensitive plants, like roses, with a layer of burlap to help protect them from the cold and snow.
- Remove all of your annuals from flower beds and tackle any new weeds that may have popped up.
General Outdoor Maintenance
A few extra items should be addressed to make sure that you're prepared for old man winter and these few tips will not only help to prepare for next year, but might just prevent some issues from cropping up that could cost you a significant amount of money should something break or go wrong!
- Clean the gutters and make sure the downspouts are clear, point away from the house and are extended to the gutters. You’re going to get dirty with this one and it likely means ladder work or that you might be on the roof. Clean all the debris from the gutters and wash everything away with a hose. If you aren’t comfortable with heights, ladders or being on the roof, you might want to call the professionals to do this job for you.
- Pressure-wash the deck or give it a good hose down to clean off any dirt and debris that could rot the surface. You might take this opportunity, if the weather is favourable, to re-stain and seal the deck to protect it through the winter.
- Any garden hoses, water features and in-ground sprinkler systems should be flushed of water and put away properly. As water freezes, it expands and can crack or split hoses and pipes causing costly repairs in the spring.
- Lastly, clean and put away all the yard tools that you won’t need until the new growing season and break out the snow shovel.
With a bit of work and some planning this fall, you can help your yard and garden get a head start on next spring and ensure that your house is presentable should you decide to take advantage of the winter real estate market. Taking the time an effort now means that you can sit back and enjoy that nice mug of hot chocolate by the fire knowing your plants and lawn are cozy through the cold winter.
Let us know if you have any other fall preparation tips and tricks for making sure your Edmonton home is prepared for the fall and winter. Let us know how you prepare for the change of season in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!