Fall Backyard Cleanup

by Garden Winds

The leaves are changing color, falling from the tree, making their way slowly onto the ground and there is a slight chill in the air. Summer is fading and the fall season, if not already here, is fast approaching. As the season changes, so does the reminder that it’s time to put things away and clean up the yard in preparation for the fall and winter seasons. Here are a few tips to suggestions to consider when getting your backyard winter ready.

Put Swing and Patio Cushions Away

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If the swing and patio set are not going to be used in the fall (depending on the climate you live in), then it’s best to take the cushions in and store away for the remainder of the year or until you’re ready to use it again. This prolongs the lifespan of the cushions, as sun and weather elements aid in the deterioration of the cushions. Put the cushions in a storage container (like the one picture) or store as is in a room inside the house.

If you want to protect the entire patio set during the fall and winter, use patio furniture covers. This will help keep the metal and cushions out of the elements and extend the life of the outdoor furniture. Note this can get pricey, but is well worth in the long run as the patio furniture can be considered an investment.

Trim Trees and Bushes

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Get rid of any dead or out of place tree branches and trim down the bushes that are overgrown. This way, if you are not able to get any yard work done during the dead of winter, you won’t have to worry about them growing out of control come spring. Same goes for rose bushes and other perennials.

Rake Leaves and Other Natural Debris

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Raking and gathering falling leaves is not a fun task, but if you leave it alone and wait until spring to do so, it can prevent your grass from growing. A pile of unraked leaves will cause the appearance of brown grass compared to green grass in the spring time. In addition to raking leaves, make sure that dried up flower petals, small twigs and other natural debris are gathered and thrown into the green recycling can. Your lawn will thank you.

Clean Gardening Tools

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If there are no plans to do any type of gardening during the fall and/or winter seasons, take the time to clean any gardening tools before storing in the shed or garage. Give them a good, thorough wash with mild soap detergent and water. Dry thoroughly and if needed, add a light coat of oil to prevent the tools from getting rusty when they are not in use. The gardening tools will be ready for use when spring rolls around.

Store the Canopy Away for the Gazebo, Swing or Umbrella

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If you own a gazebo, swing or umbrella that has a fabric canopy top, and it will no longer be used for the remainder of the year, it is recommended that the canopy be removed from the frame and stored away. Because the canopy is a fabric, constant exposure to sun and wind and other weather elements affects the lifespan. Now, removal of the canopy for the wintertime can be a huge task, as it’s not easy to install in the first place, but again, this will help extend the lifespan of the canopy and allow you to enjoy it for a few more years. This may only apply to those that live in areas where snow falls, however, it doesn’t hurt to store it away if it’s not going to be used. Should there be snow and the canopy is on the frame, not only does the canopy get damaged due to the accumulation of the heavy snow, it can also severely damage the metal frame. We recommend you brush off any dirt and dust on the canopy after it is removed from the frame and clean with mild soap and water or an outdoor fabric cleaner. Dry canopy thoroughly before putting away.

These are all just a few tips and suggestions to help transition into the fall and winter seasons with ease. Because it’s sometimes too cold to go outside, cleaning the yard now will prevent additional yard work to be done when the weather gets warmer. If you have any suggestions regarding fall and winter backyard cleanup, we’d love to hear them!

Photos courtesy of www.treeremoval.com, www.westernnurseries.com, www.porch.com

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