As seasons change there are always new things to do and old things to take care of. The change from summer to fall is no different but it is a good time to do things you won’t be able to do once it gets colder.
Since our lawns are the largest areas on our property it is important that they are maintained. In the summer they give our kids a place to play and our family a place to get together and have barbeques or just relax. In the winter they protect our yard from erosion and although thats not a sexy thing it does mean water runoff won’t cause damage to our yard. Although many people don’t understand the difference between weeds and grass and figure anything thats green and grass like is good enough there are real advantages of having a healthy lawn full of hybrid grasses like fescue. Hybrid Grass used for lawns has been cultivated for generations to provide the best performance. They grow as a reasonably slow rate compared to weeds which require cutting much more often. They are also more attractive and provide a better platform for our kids and animals. It might be fun for kids to look for clover but its no fun when the whole yard is clover.
End of summer weed treatment is important to reduce mature plants and allow your lawn to recover before it goes dormant. Chemical sprays are the best way to control mature weed plants and they normally take a few applications to work. They work by killing off specific plant types and allowing your grass to fill in the area.
You should plan to treat your lawn in the late summer and early fall at least twice and depending on how bad or what percentage of your lawn is weeds will determine how much or how concentrated the weed killer must be. Allow at least 2 to 3 weeks between treatments. You should see plants turning brown and grass starting to come back.
Adding hardscape and mulch is not just a spring chore. I know that every spring we order or drag home a load of mulch but by the end of the summer you may find that some areas need to be retreated. If your garden center has available mulch you should ask them for a discount as they will normally want to reduce their inventory before the season ends.
You should also inspect any bed retainers. Take time to repair any brick lines that have gone out of alignment. This may require that you reseat them or replace any damaged bricks.
If you have a gravel driveway you may want to get a load of stone in and rent a plate compactor to provide an even surface for winter. When the stone is delivered or when you bring it back you should start at the area closest to your home and have the truck driver tilt his bed and pour it out along the driveway. This is not a hard task for a driver and it will help you a lot when you are trying to level your stone.
Any dead trees or bushes should be removed from the yard. This is a good time to plan your flower beds for next season. If you can find bulb flowers now is the time to plant them for early flowers next spring.
Cleaning the outside of your home should include removal of any mold or fungus growing on your exterior walls or shingles. I prefer to use my own solution of bleach and a small amount of laundry detergent however there are professional treatments that can be applied with a garden sprayer or a pressure washer attachment.
While you are thinking about it and have an extra hour or two you should start preparing for taking in your yard furniture and other items by cleaning out your shed or garage and making room. This also gives you a good chance to inventory and clean anything in your storage areas before they become full again for winter.
There are many tasks around your home that need to be done in the next few weeks. Some things just can’t wait and others need preparation for. Try to spend part of your day thinking about what things you will need to do. Write them down if you need to and make a list of anything you may need to purchase to get them done.
If you plan ahead things are always a bit easier.