The weather may be getting cooler, but it is not yet time to hang up your tools or gardening gloves.
There are plenty of fall home and yard maintenance tasks for you to complete before winter, especially if you want to do some winter gardening and be prepared for spring. Our tips will put you and your home, yard, and garden on the right path to weather the cold.
1. Take Care of Your Home’s Exterior
Before winter, have your gutters and downspouts inspected and cleaned. Clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris to make sure the water can flow away from your home this winter. If you don’t want to carry heavy ladders, climb up and down several times, or crawl around your roof, contact a professional to do this maintenance task for you. Otherwise, you risk damage to your roof, fascia, and foundation when ice and water cannot flow off your roof this winter.
You also need to maintain your roof to ensure it can withstand all that winter throws at it. Remove branches, leaves, or other debris that may have fallen on your roof during summer and fall.
It’s also important to have a professional inspect your roof. He will tell you if you have a few shingles that need to be replaced or if you need to replace your entire roof. Don’t forget to inspect the areas around your skylights, pipes, and chimneys for leaks or gaps. If you find problematic roof flashing, repair it to prevent ice and snow from entering your home this winter.
Maintaining the exterior of your home is less expensive than making repairs later, and fall also is an ideal time to paint your home. The cool weather helps paint dry more quickly and evenly, and it makes your home’s appearance stay on par with your landscaping and garden.
After you paint your home, look for ways to make it complement your landscaping. Consider adding window boxes to your first-floor windows or plant boxes to your front-porch railing. These additions will add color and texture to your home, and you can continue to garden these areas throughout the year by planting hardy plants or evergreens.
2. Tend to Your Landscaping and Yard
As your plants lose their luster and prepare for colder weather, take advantage of the crisp fall days to winterise your yard. Trim perennials and remove annuals when they are done blooming and before the ground freezes. Remove broadleaf weeds and check the pH of your garden and lawn; apply lime if it’s too acidic or apply Sulphur if it’s too alkaline.
Trim larger bushes and trees near your home to protect your siding or freshly painted exterior from scraping limbs when the cold winds blow. Rake leaves to dethatch your lawn and then mow to keep your grass low to allow the roots to absorb nutrients during the cold season.
3. Be Prepared for Winter Gardening
If you love to garden and hate to stop during the colder months, you can plan to garden year-round as long as you know the limitations of your zone. Gardening in the fall and winter will help your plants thrive during the warmer months, too. Begin by adding mulch to your garden beds to keep your soil warm and as moist as possible throughout the winter.
You’ll also protect roots and bulbs from frost with a thick layer of mulch. If you live in an exceptionally cold climate, however, you should dig up and store your bulbs in a cool, dark location until you know frost will not affect them.
If you want to attempt winter harvest vegetables but don’t have a greenhouse, you can build high tunnels or a PVC hoophouse for your garden. Vegetables that grow better during cooler months include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, and Brussels sprouts. Other options for your cold-weather garden include spinach, kale, turnips, beets, radishes, and baby carrots. Remember to check your zone to ensure success with your winter gardening.
Your home’s exterior, landscaping, and garden need attention in fall so they can survive harsh winter weather. Take care of gutters and downspouts, your roof, and your exterior paint to protect your home. Then, winterize your and give cold-weather gardening a shot.