It's the time of year when you begin to see stray red, yellow, and orange leaves appearing on trees that were completely green just a short time ago. This is one of the first signs that fall is on the way. I look forward to the crisp evenings and cold-weather barbecues that come along with this new season. Fall is also a great time to check on the condition of your yard and get it ready for the frosty months to come.
Take a Walk
Take a pleasant walk around your yard looking for bald spots in the grass and rodent holes. If you see a bald spot on your lawn, purchase a lawn repair mixture to put over it. If a chipmunk or another rodent has been busy making holes in your yard, take the time to fill them in with some loose dirt.
Rake the Leaves
The time to start raking is now. Some people believe that you shouldn't start raking until the last leaf has fallen. Unfortunately, this way of thinking allows fallen leaves to create a blanket over your yard. This blanket of leaves prevents sunlight and water from nourishing your grass. Plus, molds and fungus can begin to form in the dark, moist environment created by the fallen leaves.
Aerate the Soil
Fall is the time when a yard is soaking up nutrients and energy so it's ready to flourish when springtime rolls around again. Aerating the soil allows oxygen, water, sunlight, and fertilizer easy access to the roots of the grass. A typical spike aerator is a device that you can easily use all around your yard to get the job done.
Fertilize your yard with a slow-release fertilizer. In the fall, your lawn wants to take in all of the nutrients it can so it will survive the cold weather. Taking the time to fertilize your yard now can lay the foundation for a healthy lawn in the spring.
Kill the Weeds
If you have dandelions and other weeds growing in your yard, fall is a good time to get rid of them. These weeds can steal nutrients from your grass. Put weed-killer on these intruders and you may just stop them from making a follow-up appearance next spring.
Swap Old Flowers for New Ones
Remove old flowers from pots, window boxes, and other places in your yard. Next, replace them with flowers that love the cool weather. Cold-weather pansies, sweet peas, calendulas, and violas are just a few colorful suggestions. I'm a fan of cold-weather pansies because they can continue to flourish even with snow on their petals!
Evaluate the Condition of Your Yard Tools
Give the once-over to all of your lawn tools. Raking is more efficient if all of the tines of your rake are intact, so if your rake is missing some tines or has some that are broken, it's a good idea to invest in a new rake. If you have a leaf blower, make sure that it's in good working order, and check the condition of your lawn mower. In addition, if you're thinking about getting a new hose, shovel, or other summer gardening tool, you may want to check the stores for sales now.
Clean Your Shed
Fall is a great time to clean your shed. This may include washing its windows, sweeping out the dirt, and knocking down cobwebs. You may want to take this time to reorganize your tools and take inventory of what you have.
Good luck with your fall preparations, and thanks for reading! - Alan