While most homeowners think about yard care and cleanup in the Spring, early Fall is the time to get your yard and lawn ready for Winter. Seasonal changes in temperature, sunlight and weather cause plants to slow new growth. Tools used heavily over the summer are ready for maintenance. Plus, some tasks, done well now, will save you time in the Spring.

Adjust irrigation settings & watering frequency
In the Pacific Northwest, you can bet on cooler, rainy weather in the Fall. In addition to an increase in moisture from rain and mist, less moisture evaporates because temperatures begin to lower. Adjusting irrigation settings can help ensure that you do not over water your lawn and garden. For areas of your landscape not reached by an irrigation system, adjusting watering frequency can help you avoid over watering. This calendar & guide from the City of Seattle includes watering tips as well as a general landscape maintenance schedule that you can adapt for your yard.

Start raking as soon as the first leaf drops
While you can wait to rake until you have a few more leaves, the point is rake and rake often. Keeping up with leaves, especially in Washington state where we have an abundance of deciduous trees, will help keep your lawn healthy as it continues to grow through the Fall. Failing to continue to rake up leaves throughout late Summer and Fall will cause the leaves to choke the grass and kill it, negating all your hard work! Continual raking also makes the chore easier on you. While you may be raking more frequently, the task is made easier because you are raking fewer leaves at one time.

Prep tools for storage
Fall is the perfect time to check tools for wear and maintenance needs. Sharpen shovels and trowels, check hoses for wear and kinks, replace or repair handles, empty pots and stack them upside down (to prevent water from collecting inside). This is also a great time to find your patio furniture covers and check the seams for any rips or tears.

Start thinking about Spring
Yes, now is the time to think about next Spring! If you are planning a garden, make a list of seeds to order. If you know you will want to divide or move specific plants, mark them with surveyors tape so that you will easily remember them in the Spring. If you are thinking about a larger project that you will need professional help to complete, start contacting companies for bids and information.

Tim’s Complete Landscape Management specializes in routine landscape maintenance, lawn care, clean-up projects, and yard enhancement projects. Estimates are always free. Let us help you with your Fall, and all season, yard care. Our professional staff will help you achieve the landscape you have always wanted.