As the warm weather dies down for the year we’re presented with a great opportunity to get outside and give our yards some much needed attention so that they’re in excellent shape for the fall season. Much of the luscious foliage that grew so vigorously throughout the will have started to die off, and it’s the perfect time to get out there and pull away the yellowed and browned growth, as well as do some routine cleaning and maintenance so that everything looks in perfect order.
While we may not be spending as much time outside as we did in the warm summer months, it’s still important that our homes and yards look as well kept as possible. Our to-do lists are forever growing, but here are some tasks we can check off to help kickstart our efforts.
Thin The Gardens
Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with this throughout the year so that you’re not left with piles of brush and leaves to deal with, but even if you have there is likely some work to be done. Now is a great time to do one last thorough weeding of your garden beds, removing any small plants and seedlings that might compete for nutrients with you most important plants.
You’ll also want to take some hand shears and cut back any growth that is dying off or has already died completely. Not only is this dead growth unsightly, but removing it will be helpful for your plants. Oddly enough, because of how plants work, they’ll still be trying to provide nutrients to this wilted growth. If you do the plants a favor and remove the yellow and brown leaves, they’ll be able to focus all of their energy on keeping their live leaves and flowers strong and healthy.
If you’ve thinned enough you may even find that you’ve made space for some new plants to go in the ground. Mums can be a great addition, as they’ll flower long into the fall. You can also consider putting some bulbs down that will make for early, beautiful flowers when spring comes around.
Tidy Up The Grounds
With the gardens in good shape you’ll want to next take a broader look at your grounds as a whole. The biggest win will come from tidying up the edges along garden beds and walkways. The quickest way to go about this is to use a weed whacker and cut back any growth from your lawn that is obscuring the edges of the garden so that you bring back that nice sharp contrast between lawn and mulch. Similarly, you’ll want to edge any walkways for a sharp contrast, but you’ll also want to cut back any weeds that have grown up through the stones.
While you’re at it, it’s a good time to give your stone and concrete surfaces a good cleaning so that they shine bright against all of the greenery in your yard. A great way to minimize the work here is to use a pressure washer, just do some research and make sure that you find a model that is powerful enough to treat these hard surfaces. In lieu of a pressure washer you can always resort to scrubbing, but you might be better off borrowing one from a friend or hiring a professional, as this type of cleaning can be back-breaking when done manually.
The last thing to keep in mind is of particular importance if you have a lot of trees in your yard, and that is to stay on top of the falling leaves as they begin to accumulate. If you wait until all the leaves have fallen not only will your yard look quite messy, but it will also be a much bigger project to clean up than it would be had you taken some initiative in the first place. Some people are fortunate enough to have help from professionals, but if you don’t then this is something to keep in mind.
Spruce It Up
Once you have your yard clean and tidy, you can go ahead and put the finishing touches on it so that your yard looks truly impressive from the curb. A good way to go about this is to make a trip to your local farm and see what they have to offer.
Since it’s the harvest season, it can look really nice to accent your yard with pumpkins, gourds, and even well-placed bails of hay. However, you can make your yard look even more impressive by selecting some large potted plants that will flower beautifully throughout the fall. Your local farm should be able to help you choose the right species for your region.
Last but not least, you might want to consider planting any large, ornamental trees or plants at this time. Since you’ve done all the work to clean the yard and make extra space, you might as well take advantage of the tidiness and add that tree you’ve been dreaming about all year long. Of course, make sure to find a species that is amenable to being transplanted in the fall.
With the yard work behind you you’ll be in great shape to enjoy your home. Take some time to relax, and maybe consider having some guests over for a nice feast from the year’s harvest.