Summer is the outdoor season for the garden furniture, gardening tools and accessories to be enjoyed by your family. With the onset of fall and the approach of winter, your garden needs to be put to bed and furniture and tools cleaned off and prepared to be stored again for another 6 months or so.
One way to help you organize yourself is to work your way through completing a detailed list of priorities and chores that need to be completed in good time before cold snaps set in.
- Keep the lawn raked and all leaves and other debris bagged for the curbside pickup.
- Clean the beds of your annual plants and determine which of your perennials you can keep going for a while longer, and which you can prune -which need to be lifted and divided. Dispose of the foliage.
- Mulch your beds by an additional couple of inches if they require more.
- Pull any remaining weeds out of your beds and from your lawn.
- If the weather is still warm and your lawn might still be growing, make sure to give it a mow a few times, gradually dropping the height of your mower blade. Grass that is too long will encourage the growth of snow mould in the winter. With your final mow, you can go a little shorter.
- A good practice to keeping your lawn healthy after the summer is to aerate it with a machine to bring up what’s known as the thatch. The thatch plugs can then be swept up and put into your yard waste. Aerating your soil ensures that oxygen, water and fertilizer reach the grassroots.
- Feed your lawn twice – once in early fall, and again in late fall when you know it has stopped growing.
- Trim any overhang of branches that have grown during the summer and create an obstruction to any paths or walkways.
- Clean all your gardening tools and make sure they are thoroughly dried before you pack them away in storage. A good system on your garage wall, tool or garden shed keeps them off the ground and organized.
- Wipe down your garden furniture.
- If your cushion covers can be removed from the cushions, give them a wash and let them dry outside while the weather still allows it. Pack away in a dry place in storage.
- If you don’t have room for your furniture make sure to stack chairs and place out of the way to the side of your deck. Tables can do well under a tarp to protect them from the harsh elements of winter.
- Clean your barbecue off and cover. Wash all utensils and bring them indoors if they have been outside.
- Make sure your gutters and eaves troughs have been cleared of debris.
- Power wash your deck.
- Turn off and drain all outdoor hoses that are connected to the house from their corresponding indoor taps.
- Hose off your awning before you roll it up.
- Give your pathways and areas around your house, garage or shed a good sweep.
- Clean all your windows and more importantly your window frames and sills inside and out that have collected dust over the summer months.
The work involved in cleaning up your yard and property in preparation for the fall and winter months is labour intensive and requires focus. It might be helpful to tackle smaller jobs every day until you are finished. It is also recommended to keep an eye on the weather channel, as the weather can be unpredictable these days. You want to stay ahead of the game and complete all the work you set for yourself.