Fall is nearly here, but you don’t have to abandon your yard just because the weather is getting cooler. There are still plenty of ways you can prepare your yard for the winter and keep it looking great all year long!
1. Clean out the gutters. After debris from summer storms and falling leaves collect in your gutter, they will definitely need to be cleaned out. Make sure the joints where the gutter meets the downspouts are cleared. After your gutters are cleared from debris, pour some water into the gutters and see where the water goes. This will help make sure that water is being diverted away from the foundation and that your gutters aren’t leaky.
2. Clear the eaves. Keeping your yard free of leaves feels like a never-ending chore, but it is a must in order to prevent leaves from smothering your lawn in the winter.
3. Continue weed control. Although it is cooling off, weeds don’t stop growing in the fall. However, during the fall plants are preparing for winter by drawing in and storing extra nutrients. This means weeds will quickly absorb weed-control products to give fast results.
4. Keep mowing. As long as your lawn is growing, you can continue to mow it. However, for the final cut of the fall, cut your lawn at a low height. If you leave your lawn too long during the winter, the extra growth will bend because of the extra weight of ice, rain and snow. This will then trap moisture which can breed fungal disease. Before retiring your mower for the winter, be sure to drain out any of the old gas.
5. Set up bird feeders. After the lawn mower is put away and the leaves are cleared, you can enjoy your yard by creating your own mini-bird sanctuary. Feeding birds in the fall can help birds build fat reserves for winter migration, provide a food source for migrating birds, attract winter species of birds and provide a good food source at a time when other sources of food could be more difficult to find. Best autumn bird foods include suet, nectar, nuts, black oil sunflower seed, cracked corn and white proso millet. Consider getting squirrel-proof feeders to keep the pesky rodents away from the birds’ food supply.