The leaves are changing colours! All too soon, it seems, fall is here. While the year has been different from what any of us expected, some things have remained constant like the changing of seasons.
As we wrap up our final summer barbecues, it’s time we start thinking about cleaning out our backyard to get it ready for the season ahead.
We know it doesn’t sound very glamourous, but we strongly believe that cleaning out your backyard doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you’re using the right tips and tricks, fall-proofing your backyard should be a breeze. Trust us!
We’ve put together a simple checklist that should make this autumn tradition simple and maybe even fun!
Before you start cleaning up your backyard, take a walk around your property and make a note of everything that needs to be tidied up or fixed. It’s tempting to skip this step but the biggest timewasters tend to be areas you didn’t realize needed cleaning up until it was too late. Once you’re done with your walkaround, sort out your items on the list based on priority level and cleaning method. Now, you’re ready to get to work!
Clearing dead leaves around your home is important because they can become a habitat for mice, rats and other pests if left unattended. The dead leaves can also clog your gutters, which can damage your drainage system and leave you with more work than you initially planned.
If you’re bagging your leaves, a quick tip is to rake them in rows instead of piles around your lawn. This makes it much easier to clear up once you’re done.
The bagged leaves can be shredded and used as mulch around your trees and foliage. This can keep your trees happy during the winter and will reduce the occurrence of weeds during spring.
Trimming your trees should be done when temperatures are much cooler, ideally in October or November. If you’re unsure of how to prune your trees, it’s a great idea to get some help from an expert.
Why should you trim your trees?
Trimming your trees ensures they grow healthily once the weather gets warmer. It’s a quick process and in return, your backyard will look much better in the spring because of this!
If you have a vegetable garden, old plants and weeds must be pulled out after the final harvest of the year. Compost and mulch can be added afterwards to prepare the land for planting next year.
Grass doesn’t stop growing just because temperatures have dropped. It’s important that you take care of your lawn even during autumn, so it grows much better in the spring. This care includes mowing it and making sure it’s aerated before winter comes.
A general rule of thumb suggests you should mow your lawn regularly, albeit with a gentler mower, until temperatures consistently drop below 10 degrees Celsius.
You should also make sure to aerate your lawn so the roots aren’t starved of nutrients. You can aerate your lawn with a motorized aerator, spiked aerator shoes or even with a garden fork.
Sure, it might involve walking up and down your lawn a couple of times that day but your yard will thank you for it later and that’s not a bad work out.
There aren’t many people who enjoy clearing out gutters and downspouts, but everyone can agree that it’s an essential step when cleaning your backyard.
It’s recommended you do this about twice a month during the fall, especially if your area has a lot of trees and gets a lot of rain. You can pay someone to do this for you but if you decide to DIY it, make sure to clean out everything, from dead leaves to twigs and dirt.
Once your gutters and downspout are clean, you can double-check by running water through them. If the water flows freely, your gutters are probably clean enough. It’s important that you let your drains dry fully once you’re done with the cleaning process.
Firepit: Avera by Dekko
If you have an outdoor firepit and/or a grill, use the season change to do a good cleaning, especially if you’re planning on using them during the fall and winter.
If you don’t intend to have any cozy nights around an outdoor fire till next year, either store them indoors or cover them up with a strong canvas or sheet so they don’t become a habitat for rodents or become damaged from the rain and snow.
Don’t feel pressured to check every item off your cleanup list in one day. Clearing out your yard requires attention to detail and it’s tough to get everything done in only a couple hours, especially if you’re doing this work all by yourself. It’s better to carve out a couple of hours in a week to get this done so you don’t get impatient and miss some steps.
The colder weather might be pushing us indoors but it’s a great opportunity to build up some great memories, such as snuggling up in front of a fireplace or trying fun new foods on an indoor grill.