Fall tends to be a relaxed time of year – especially when it comes to landscape care.
To be sure, there are certain landscaping tasks that must be performed each fall – raking leaves, for example. But on the whole, there’s a lot less work to maintaining a landscape once the summer growing season is over.
There is one particular landscaping chore, though, which should be performed every fall. And it’s a chore that many homeowners overlook. That chore is making certain that your landscape is ready for winter. Taking just a bit of time now to perform that annual chore can save you significant headaches down the road.
If you haven’t made certain yet that your landscape is safe and set for winter, here’s a 4-step check to help you make sure your bases are covered:
#1: Dead Limb Patrol
Dead tree limbs can present a hazard to property and people during the winter. High snow or ice loads can cause dead limbs to suddenly snap and come crashing to the ground. And it’s also healthier for your trees to proactively remove dead limbs.
So take some time to patrol your property eyes to the sky, looking for limbs that have died and need to be removed. If you’re comfortable removing the limbs yourself, you can use these guidelines to assure that you do the job properly. But for sky-high limbs, you’d be wiser (and safer!) to call upon the services of a professional arborist.
#2: Evaluate Landscape Lighting
With the sun setting earlier in the evening, you’ll have more foot traffic on your walkways during hours of darkness. Cast a critical eye over all the walkways and footpaths on your property, and evaluate whether they are properly lit.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for obstacles that might present an after-dark hazard – a dark-colored lawn statue or planter, for example. Also make certain that none of your landscape lights shines directly in the eyes of pedestrians as they make their way along commonly traveled routes, such as from the driveway to the front door.
#3: Winterize Lawn Sprinkler System
It’s important that you prepare your sprinkler system properly for the ravages of winter. Failure to do so may result in some costly and frustrating headaches when you attempt to start-up the system in the spring.
Many homeowners prefer to have a professional perform this task. But if you choose to perform this job yourself, it’s essential that no pools of water be left in underground plumbing.
#4: Don’t Fall Behind with Raking
Yes, raking the leaves is a pain. But it’s important not to fall behind on the job. Allowing leaves to lie on the ground for a time increases the risk of spreading a number of diseases than can affect lawn grass. Lingering leaves can also provide pests with a great hiding place.
And leaves can even pose a slippery-when-wet accident risk for pedestrians.
A Wonderful Time of Year…
For most homeowners fall is a delightful time of year. The weather is pleasantly cool, and the demands of nurturing the landscape through the stressful summer heat have faded.
Fall is a wonderful season, in part, because it’s a relaxing season. But just don’t get too relaxed. There are still chores to be done.