November 16


Fall Clean Up: What To Look Out For

By Noel D.

November 16, 2018

autumn, DIY, fall, fall clean up, seasonal

When you are doing your fall clean up this year (if you haven’t done it already), there are some things you need to look for – and if you have done it, go back and check out to make sure that these problems aren’t plaguing your yard. Why do you need to be careful? The truth is that the winter season is a tough one for our yards, and it is deceptively busy for them as well.

You see, during the winter months, trees are doing a lot of the work that needs to be done in order for them to have a beneficial growing season the next year. This will help them to grow taller, sustain winter elements, and even produce a more bountiful harvest.

So what should you be on the lookout for? Here are a few things:

4. Soil Compaction

  • Impacts all life in your yard
  • Can get worse as the season goes
  • Leads to pooling or run off

One of the first things you should look for is soil compaction. Break up all of your soil to keep water from pooling around and allowing for ice pockets to form – ice pockets can be dangerous for you. Even worse, they can be dangerous for your plants. When you have soil that is loose, it guarantees that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. This is something that you certainly need if you want to have a beautiful yard.

According to Wallace’s Farmer, drought levels are high this year, and that means that we are at risk for even more compaction.

To do this, all you have to do is take a simple garden fork, at least for smaller yards or garden patches. If you have a larger yard, or you want to do the entirety of your lawn, larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator. These can be pricy, but you can also rent them if need be.

3. Dry Patches of Lawn

Squirrel in dry lawn
Credit: Ricardo Pardi
  • Looks unsightly
  • May need long-term care
  • Can help to make your yard healthier overall

If, when you are walking around your yard, you see dry or yellowing spots all over, you need to take action. Sometimes, the problem is simply because the leaves and other debris on top of the lawn hasn’t allowed the roots to get the sunlight and nutrients that they need. However, it can also be a sign of another problem – diseases, fungus, pests, or something worse.

According to Scotts, one of the biggest problems is thatching: “Thatch can build up when the lawn is not properly watered, fed, or mowed. It’s an accumulation of dead and decaying plant material between the plant leaf blades and the root system that prevents water and food from getting to the roots. When thatch build-up is high, grass plants can actually start to grow roots up in the thatch layer. Because that layer won’t hold water, the plants begin to dry out, causing brown spots in the lawn.”

2. Any Tools Left Sitting Around

Rusty tools
Credit: Oatsy40
  • Keeps tools in working order
  • Prevents injury during snow
  • Helps populate lists for winter sales

After the busy growing and planting season, it is easy to forget about tools that you had sitting around your yard. This is just a fact of life, but now is the time to gather them. Allowing tools, even something as hardy as a wheelbarrow or garden fork can open them up to deterioration or rust, which means they are no longer safe to use.

Make sure to look through the leaves that you rake into the streets – you don’t want to do any damage to your township’s leave collection system. According to Family Handy Man, you can even look for tools that are newer and easier to use to take care of your yard during this time.

Even better, looking through your tools and inspecting whether or not they can be used another year is a great way to determine whether or not you need to add them to your holiday list. In the winter, there are some great sales on tools and yard equipment.

1. Overgrown Trees and Shrubs

Credit: Damien Gadal
  • Helps growing next year
  • Makes your home safer
  • Helps trees to grow over the winter

If you are doing your spring clean-up, you absolutely cannot forget about your trees and shrubs. While you might think that your work revolving around them is simply to clean up their leaves and other debris, you also have to look at what has been exposed. Make sure to give your trees a once over to spot any problems. These can be any number of things, but the most important thing to look for is anything dead – branches, twigs, or even portions of the bark. These areas need to be removed before the weight of winter precipitation brings them down.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes – only if you are a professional. This is the time of the year when a lot of fungi can be spread, so you need to be careful. When in doubt, always call a professional. When it comes to shrubs, make sure to do some research as some shrubs are better cut at different times of the year, according to New Garden Nursery.

If you are worried about your trees or you see something that just doesn’t look right, make sure to give Arbortec Tree Service a call at (303) 466-3175. While you can certainly watch over your trees and love them, there is nothing that beats the practiced hand of professionals.

Header photo courtesy of Ian Sane on Flickr!

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