Once the weather starts turning colder in the fall, lots of people seem to think they no longer have to do any outside yard work. Beyond raking fallen leaves, there are many outdoor tasks that can help ensure your yard and property are ready once the weather starts to warm again.
Here is a list of some outdoor tasks that can help you get a jump on spring:
- Clean and prepare flower beds: Once spring arrives, the to-do list can be overwhelming. Getting flower beds ready in the fall means less to do in early spring. Leaves and debris should be removed. As long as the ground isn’t frozen solid, beds can be dug and raked.
- Improve the soil: Fall and winter are great times to add soil amendments. Compost, peat moss, and other soil conditioners can be dug in or just applied on top of garden areas. If you are not sure what additives and conditioners your soil needs, contact a lawn care professional.
- Fertilize: Fertilization in late fall or winter can help you score the greenest lawn in the neighborhood once the weather starts to warm in the spring.
- Plant: As long as the ground isn’t too frozen to dig, this can be a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Fall planting helps plants establish a stronger root system that can make plants be better able to withstand hot and dry conditions next summer. Fall is also the time to plant bulbs for early spring color. Daffodils, tulips, and other bulbs can be put out anytime the ground can be worked.
- Drain hoses and sprinkler lines: Water left in sprinkler lines and hoses will freeze solid during the winter. The result can be broken pipes and valves that require costly repairs. If you aren’t sure how to drain irrigation lines, contact a lawn care specialist.
- Prune: Late fall and early winter is prime time for pruning shrubs and trees. It is also a great time to remove dead plants and to cut back perennials.
- Rake fallen leaves: This is not just an autumn cliché. Leaves that remain on a lawn during winter can actually damage the grass—particularly under a layer of snow or ice. Removing those leaves minimizes the chance that your yard will have bare spots in the spring.