Have you ever had a teacher or boss who said, “If you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on time, you’re late”? They may just be your lawn-care spirit animal.
The best way to have a lush, healthy lawn next year is to get started this year. With a few simple pointers and a free afternoon in the fall you can enjoy a greener outdoor space while keeping a bit of extra green in your wallet, too.
Pack up your hoses
Replacing all your garden hoses and drip lines every year is a quick way to blow your outdoor budget before you even get to consider buying new plants or bushes. When you forget to put them away, the water freezes and the plastic becomes brittle – the perfect recipe for forming cracks and splits. We recommend draining everything and bringing them somewhere warm if possible. If the lines or hoses can’t be moved, then at least make sure they’re dry before the first frost.
The last mow of the season
You might be tempted to rush through that last mowing just because you’re glad to be free of this chore until spring. We feel you, but if you take a few extra seconds to change up your mowing routine, you’ll save yourself some work next year. Drop your blade down to about 1-1/4 inches. Blowing leaves are less likely to stick on short grass, and longer grass can help encourage disease over the winter. Just be sure to not cut it too short, as the blade is how grass collects its energy.
Leaves aren’t so bad, but it’s bagging them up that makes it such a chore. Maybe you have those city-mandated paper bags, or maybe you’re just trying to get them into a black Hefty bag – either way it’s one of the least fun parts of the fall. We recommend avoiding bags whenever possible. You can rake them onto a tarp, or you can set up a small cage and start composting the leaves. Just turn them over every few weeks, and when spring comes around you’ve got plenty of homemade mulch!
Seeding and Feeding
Feeding your lawn in the fall is the difference between an average lawn and a lush, green lawn that will make people slow down as they drive by. Your lawn’s roots are usually damaged and worn out by the end of the summer, so feed them in early fall so they can repair themselves before they go dormant in the winter. The fall is also a great time to get out in front of weeds before they can germinate next year. The products you need are available at most home improvement stores, and we recommend that you buy them during the summer so you’re ready to go when the heat of the summer finally breaks.
Organize your tools
This might seem pretty basic, but having your tools cleaned and organized is going to help you get started next spring. Motivation to start doing that spring yardwork can be difficult to find, so don’t make it harder on yourself by having to dig out tools from a disorganized pile in the back of the garage. Future-you is going to be grateful for not having to clean or replace anything when the weather finally warms up.
Cover your furniture
If you have room in the garage or the basement, take a few minutes to put away the cushions on your outdoor furniture. Most metal or wooden frames are ready to handle the weather, but the cushions can get dingy and gray if you leave them out.
Start planning now and we think you’ll be surprised how easy next year’s yard maintenance can be. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call!