Fall is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year. This anticipation is because, at the start of fall, the leaves on trees and bushes turn into beautiful, brightly colored shades and eventually fall off, creating an excellent environment for having outdoor fun, especially for kids. However, with fall also comes the need to clear out those leaves and put in work into doing fall clean-up.
A thorough fall clean-up doesn’t only involve clearing up of leaves but also includes measures taken to protect the plants against the harsher weather coming, pruning, and cleaning up of debris in drainages. Although it is hard work, it is an aspect of landscaping that is essential, and here’s why.
Although you may want to allow the colourful leaves to sit on your lawn, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t.
• Lawn Damage:
Leaves left on the lawn can prevent your grass from getting adequate sunlight, leading to yellow or brown patches of stunted or dead grasses on your garden. The leaves can gather in layers on your lawn, depriving your turf of oxygen and smouldering them to death.
• Diseases, Insects and Pests:
Layers of moist, decaying leaves create the perfect environment for fungi to grow, which can, in turn, lead to disease breakout in your lawn or garden. The fallen leaves also make ideal homes for insects and bugs, and where there are insects, pests like rodents aren’t too far behind.
• Environmental safety:
During fall, the leaves scatter over lawns, sidewalks and into gutters and drainages. If not cleaned out early enough, these will start rotting on the sideways, leaving a slippery mess, which can cause domestic accidents. While those in drainages can build up, causing gutters to become blocked and overflow.
• Leaf Removal:
Fallen leaves should be removed from your lawn and surrounding areas regularly. This leaf removal can be done by raking and bagging or using leaf blowers to gather the leaves into a compost pile. However, some leaves can be left behind as leaf litter. Leaf litter add to and help build the organic matter in the soil, which will be beneficial to your lawn in the long run.
• Weeding, Aeration and Dethatching
For turfs, the best time to aerate and dethatch is early fall. Aeration helps air, water and nutrients reach the grassroots easier and dethatching helps to avoid the build-up of brown, dead grasses beneath your lawn. Both processes are essential parts of fall clean-up as they help put your yard in the best state to handle the coming winter.
Make sure all weeds are removed from your lawn and mowing should be done at a height no less than 3”.
• Fertilize and Overseed
Although grasses appear to grow slower in colder weather conditions that come with fall, their roots continue to develop normally. As such, fall is the perfect time to fertilize as it will provide the turf with those extra nutrients needed to survive the long winter period. Fall offers you a great time to overseed your lawn. Overseeding helps cover up any empty patch in your yard and gives you a thick, lush lawn for the next season.
• Clean up your beds
If you have a garden or vegetable bed, then this is the best time to clean it. Look out for weeds, as well as the diseased and pest-infested plants in your bed and remove them. You should also fertilize your garden bed or add compost if you have enough.
• Drainage cleaning
During fall clean-up, do not forget to clean out your gutters and drainages too. Fall leaves can form ice dams when the snow starts and block channels also. It’s best to clear the leaves by raking or using leaf blowers.
• Tree and Shrub Trimming
It’s best to shape and prune hedges and shrubs one last time in fall to give it neat look for winter and avoid snow and ice damage. All deadwood and pest-infested branches should be removed entirely.
• Make Compost
What do you do with all the cleaned out fall leaves? Simple! Make compost! Adding the leftover leaves to your [homemade compost](http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html) pile is the most efficient way to get rid of them and effectively turn them into plant food eventually. Ensure that diseased leaves and plant parts are not added to your compost too.
• Get your tools ready for winter
Late fall is the best time to prepare your landscaping tools and machinery for winter. After all the cleaning is done, it is the best time to clean out the tools, oil the parts that need oiling and store them away for winter. If you have a mower, make sure you drain out the fuel too.
Fall clean-up is an integral part of making your landscape have a healthy spring and survive the long winter months. Leaving your fall clean-up for the professionals to handle will pay you on the long run with a healthy and beautiful yard.
At Eden, we are committed to giving you the best landscaping services, including expertly done fall clean-up. Call us today to give your lawn that professional touch and keep your yard looking healthy and lush all year round.