Updated on October 10th, 2020
You’ve likely spent all summer enjoying and caring for your lawn and yard, especially this year with spending more time at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that leaves are changing colors and the temperatures are dropping, you’ll want to make sure that all of your hard work isn’t lost as soon as the cold weather settles in.
So take advantage of a sunny fall day and complete these seven pre-winter yard care tasks to ensure your lawn, garden, and outdoor entertainment areas survive the harsh temperatures and are ready to burgeon beautifully come spring.
1. Repair any hardscape features
Regardless of if you live somewhere with harsh winters like Boston, MA, or somewhere with a more moderate climate such as Miami, FL, repairing any hardscape features is a critical pre-winter yard care task to ensure the safety of those around you.
Repair any cracked steps, walkways, or driveways before the weather becomes icy. If left alone, damaged areas could deteriorate over the winter and lead to unsafe conditions for your friends and family. If you notice splintering on your deck, you should treat it and seal it properly before the colder months set in.
2. Tighten your railings
When repairing walkways and steps, take some extra time to tighten your railing bolts. Loose railings can cause unnecessary accidents and injuries. Similarly, be sure your fixtures, shutters, and other outdoor features are securely in place and able to withstand the stress of winter storms.
3. Store away patio furniture
Be sure to wash your patio furniture and other outdoor furnishings before winter arrives. Then store these items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and cover any pieces you can’t fit in your garage or shed. Lightweight furniture like plastic chairs should be stored so they don’t blow away or become worn and brittle.
4. Winterize your lawn
One of the most important pre-winter yard care tasks is to aerate and reseed your lawn during the fall season. A healthy fall lawn will ensure lush spring landscaping and help you avoid unsightly bare spots during the colder months. As an extra measure, be sure to add winter fertilizer to the lawn to ensure that roots penetrate your soil.
5. Trimmed branches are a must for your yard care
As you check your landscape, be sure to inspect trees and shrubs. Remove dead limbs that could fall during inclement weather. Additionally, be sure that you clear away branches near power lines or other property features.
6. Mulch leaves
A thick layer of leaves can suffocate the grass below. If you don’t choose to rake and compost your fall leaves, you could mulch them using a mulching mower. If you have rose bushes or other perennials that require some insulation, you can also use leaves to layer around the bases of these plants.
7. Screen plants
Be sure to protect your perennials and young trees from the nibbling of wintertime creatures. You can encircle plants with chicken wire to better protect them during the long winter. You can also use commercially made tree guards to prevent animals from damaging young trees and shrubs.
Now is the time to get your yard in order before the rough weather of winter arrives. Once these winter yard care tasks are complete, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is prepared for the winter months ahead.