Getting Your Lawn ready for Winter

Here is some information about getting your lawn and gardens ready for Winter.

Fall yard clean-up starts with the gutters, which requires setting up a ladder to reach them. Remember to always be safe and have someone hold the bottom of the ladder. Don’t stretch that extra two or three feet. Instead, get down and move the ladder! For those who don’t like ladders, there are a couple of options. You can have gutter guards installed to keep leaves out or use leaf blower extensions that can reach up into the gutter and blow leaves out. Make sure that where the gutter meets the downspouts are also cleaned out.

Once the gutters are are clean, take a hose and pour some water into your gutters and watch where it goes. Do you need extensions to direct the water away from your foundation and prevent leaks? When diverting water, make sure that you avoid driveway and walkways. These can potentially ice over and become hazards in the winter.

Getting Your Lawn ready for Winter

Leaf cleanup is a necessary but it is a never-ending battle. Leaves left unmanaged and scattered for the winter, will smother the lawn. On plant beds, however, it is less of a problem. As leaves breakdown, they actually help insulate plants and provide valuable nutrients.

What should be done with all the leaves that have settled all over your lawn? You can recycle them in your own compost pile or at a city dump or recycling center. Grind them up or run them over with a lawn mower to speed decomposition if you are using the leaves on your own compost pile. To move large piles of leaves, pile them onto a tarp and dragging them to their destination.

Once the leaves are collected, cut your lawn one last time before the winter, trimming it as short as possible to prevent matting, disease and rodent damage. When you are done mowing, run the lawn mower itself until it runs out of gas. Gas left to sit in the tank over the winter will gum up the carburetor so it won’t run as well next spring. Change the oil, grease the engine and pull and inspect the spark plug. Before you replace it, place several drops of five-weight oil in the hole and pull the start cord several times to lubricate the engine so it won’t rust. In the spring, you’ll only have to add gas, sharpen the blades and start mowing again.

Early in November, we recommend that you fertilize the lawn with a high phosphorus mixture to promote root growth over the winter. This will help your lawn green up sooner come spring. Fall is also a great time to fertilize trees and shrubs. We don’t recommend pruning ornamental trees and shrubs, as they can contract dieback and suffer from winter desiccation.

If you need some professional help, call us at 416-727-7277 and let us do the work for you!