Whether we’re prepared to admit it or not, the first signs of fall are here. This weekend, many Canadians will be heading up north to officially close down their cottages for the season. What most don’t realize, however, is that their fall to-do list is far from complete. Instead, savvy homeowners will spend September prepping their permanent homes for winter, paying close attention to maintaining the yards that surround them. Here are 5 landscaping tasks that need to be taken care of before the cold weather sets in for good.
Any gardener would agree that there are a number of steps you need to take in order to properly prep your lawn for the harsh winter weather.
Mulch Your Lawn
First and foremost, before the leaves start to fall, decide on how you’ll clear them and plan accordingly. Stock up on bags or schedule an appointment with a landscaper, as leaves left on the lawn for too long will block the sunlight and end up damaging your grass. Even better, avoid bags altogether by having a pro mulch your leaves. The nutrients from the broken down leaves feed your lawn, giving it extra sustenance for the months ahead and ultimately leaving you with a lush lawn come spring.
As long as you act quickly, fall is also the best time to sod your lawn. Not only will September showers ensure your lawn stays hydrated, but the cooler weather encourages sod to establish roots faster than it would in a warmer climate. Click here to connect with a pro who can get the sodding process started for you.
Many also consider fall to be the opportune time for gardening. Trees, shrubs and some root vegetables take particularly well to the fall climate. An arborist can tell you the best type of tree for the season and consult with you about placement. If you’re like most homeowners and worried about your garden’s ability to survive a Canadian winter, have it professionally treated in the fall. A pro will remove weeds, plant cover crops, and replenish mulch, all of which will help protect your garden from the elements. This process will enable your garden to grow back lush and vibrant and ensures that your hard work over the spring and summer months will not go to waste.
Tree maintenance is one of the most important tasks to have done before the winter begins. In the event of a wind or ice storm, dead and brittle branches can break off and damage your property. More importantly, these branches are also a threat to neighbourhood children and pets. For this reason, we recommend having a tree expert come by to check the health of trees on your property. Have them clear dead branches, paying particular attention to branches that hang over your home, driveway, and electrical wires.
Pool & Hot Tub
Of course, you’ll also have to schedule a time to have your pool serviced. A pro will need to reduce your pool’s water level, drain its pipes, and cover it for the winter. If you own a hot tub but haven’t used it since last winter, it’s worthwhile to have a pro check on its chemical balance and cleanliness, as well as confirm that the cover wasn’t damaged by the summer heat. They can also ensure you’re stocked with the appropriate products for the upcoming season.
Image courtesy of DIY Network
Although not necessarily a part of your landscape design, your driveway is another area of your yard that requires attention prior to the end of the summer season. Your driveway goes through a harsh cycle of repeated freezing and thawing that can cause a lot of wear on its surface, particularly if it has pre-existing cracks. The only way to ensure your driveway will make it through the winter without mid-season repair or replacement is to have a pro seal any chips and fissures before the temperature drops.
Although this may seem like a lot to do in just three months, all of these tasks can be accomplished quickly and easily with the help of a home service professional. What is most important is that you don’t procrastinate. Begin scheduling the necessary appointments now, and rest assured that your home will be winter-ready in no time.
Cover image courtesy of GOBankingRates.