Fall is not just all about football, decorating and everything pumpkin spice, y’all! It’s also a great time to get outside in our yards, enjoy the cooler drier weather and give our greatest investment some TLC. Follow these 9 Fall yard clean up tips, and the outside of your home will be looking refreshed and ready for whatever winter will bring us!

  1. Rake and collect leaves. Use a blower to gather the leaves into one spot, rake them onto a tarp and carry them away. Keeping up with this as the leaves are falling off the trees will keep your yard looking neat and prevent pests from hiding under leaves.
  2. Trim shrubs and dead limbs on small ornamental trees by cutting them down to the trunk (but not flush with the trunk). You may want to have a professional come by to inspect the larger trees on your property and prune any dead limbs. Winter weather may cause dead limbs to break and possibly injure someone or damage your house and other property. Collect all of the limbs, pile them away in a dry spot and use them for fall and winter campfires.
  3. Aerate the lawn, apply grass seed and fertilizer to allow for air, water and nutrients to soften the soil, penetrate deep into the ground and promote root growth.
  4. Clean out your gutters once the leaves are finished falling off the trees. When water and debris freeze, gutters may sag, pull away from your house and potentially fall off completely.
  5. Trim back perennials to allow for healthier spring beds. Trimming the foliage down will send energy to the roots for next season. Wrap a bungee cord around each clump of ornamental grass before pruning to make the job faster and easier. Every three years you should divide tuberous plants to help them grow more flowers over time.
  6. Plant new shrubs and trees. Cooler air and soil temperatures reduce stress on plants and encourage root growth. Larger root systems help fall planted trees and shrubs perform better during the following summer, compared to those that are planted in the springtime.
  7. Mulch beds with chopped leaves, wood chips or weed free straw after a light frost but before the ground freezes. This will provide additional warmth and control water runoff and soil erosion.
  8. Drain water from hoses, fountains and drip irrigation systems. If you have an in ground irrigation system, it’s a good idea to blow all the water out of the entire irrigation system, just to be safe. NC weather can get really cold in the winter time. Placing covers on spickets provides added protection during very cold spells.
  9. Perform maintenance on your deck. Fall weather provides optimal conditions for deck repair. Keeping your deck free of leaves and debris and giving it a routine cleaning will help keep moisture from becoming trapped in areas and keep the deck in overall good health. While you’re at it, give it a safety check and inspect for loose boards and railings. Also, the cool and dry weather conditions make fall the perfect time to stain and reseal your deck.

This list may seem like a lot to do, but if you do a little at a time and get the kids to help out, it will be done in no time. You’ll love how it looks when it’s all done, and you can rest easy during the cold winter months knowing that you’ve put forth a great effort to keep your home sweet home safe during the winter.