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10 Must-Dos of Fall Yard Clean Up

As summer wraps up, you may think you’ve been relieved of your lawn care duties until after winter. However, fall is the ideal season to prep your lawn for the cold months ahead. Putting in the time to clean up your yard will help you achieve a lush, green lawn come springtime.

1.    Remove Any Debris

Organic waste like leaves and weeds can provide a place for pests like mice and groundhogs to settle in. As your trees shed their leaves, you’ll want to rake regularly to remove dead leaves and clean up debris in your yard that will smother the grass and prevent growth.

2.    Prune Trees and Shrubs

Now that summer has passed, you may notice some shrubs in your yard that didn’t seem to grow as you had hoped. If you have any spring-blooming perineal like lilac or forsythia, now is the time to prune without risking blooms. Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes.

3.    Don’t Stop Mowing Yet

Fall yard clean up is about helping your lawn finish strong so that it can withstand the bitter temperatures ahead. It’s important to continue watering and mowing as needed. Set your mower blades to the lowest setting for the last two cuts of the season. This will allow the soil to dry out faster in the spring, which leads to a lush, green lawn for the next season.

4.    Aerate

Aerating your lawn can remove thatch, alleviate soil compaction, and beautify your grass overall. Excess thatch or heavy organic debris under the grassy surface can starve the roots of essential elements like air and water. Experts say the best time to aerate your lawn is in the fall during the growing season. The best way to aerate is to buy or rent a walk-behind aerator, and smaller lawns can be aerated using spiked lawn aerator shoes. Still, for properties larger than an acre, you might want to hire a landscaping technician instead of doing it yourself.

5.    Fertilize

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

6.    Rake and Mulch

Don’t let fallen leaves stay on your lawn for too long: if left unattended, they can suffocate the grass. Rake the leaves up, shred them and use them as mulch for trees, shrubs, and flower beds. You might even be able to skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to mulch the leaves in your yard.

7.    Rake Over Bald Spots

Is your lawn looking a little patchy? Fall is a great time to handle any bare, bald spots on your lawn. The easiest way to handle the dead areas in your yard is to apply an all-in-one lawn repair mixture, which you can purchase from your local home improvement or lawn care store. This solution usually contains a mixture of grass seed, fertilizer, and organic mulch.

8.    Clean Up the Garden

Caring for your garden during the fall will make all the difference when planting your produce in the spring again. Before the cold temperatures harden the ground, remove all weeds and debris to prevent insects and diseases from settling in the winter. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for next spring.

9.    Gutter Cleaning

Don’t forget to clean out your gutters. If they’re still full of leaves in the winter, the weight of any snowfall can tear them from the side of your house. Not only will the gutters need replacing, but this can also damage your roof and siding.

10.  Tool Winterization

Some of your lawn and garden tools might have been put away when removing clutter from the yard. Now, you’re almost done, and the final step is to winterize your lawn equipment.

  • Lawnmower
  • Weed eater
  • Anything else with an engine that won’t be running for a while

And when you’ve got everything winterized, stored away, and your yard clean-up is finished, you can finally sit back and relax.

fall yard clean up graphic

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