Fall cleanup is not the only routine I love this time of year!
Do you start your day with a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte?
Or do you get some warm baked loveliness from Panera in Fairfield, a croissant or baguette from Le Pain Quotidien in New Canaan or Upper Crust Bakery & Café in Darien? Wow, I’m hungry now just thinking about them (and fall cleanup works up quite an appetite).
What are your fall routines?
As you can tell, I love my coffee and baked goods. And come fall, they are definitely part of my routine.
Getting your property ready for fall is another routine I love.
I tried that again a few years ago with my daughter. The leaves weren’t as cushiony as I remember. I hit the ground with an audible thud! My daughter and her friend laughed. I groaned. And crawled out of the leaf pile.
I recommend leaving the leaf jumping to the kids.
And while they do that, here are a couple things you can do – or call us – to get your property ready for fall yard cleanup and leaf removal:
- Feed your lawn – Getting your lawn healthy right now with a good fertilizing will help it get through the winter in good shape. Scotts fall fertilizer is a good product that you can get at any hardware store. However, I prefer organic fertilizers from Benedicts in Monroe or one of the Jonathan Green products that you can find at Rings End in Darien, Wilton, and Bethel. They have very low nitrogen (about 3-5%) because now is the time for root growth, not top growth. And nitrogen promotes top growth at the expense of root growth.
- Water your lawn – Just because it is cooler, don’t stop watering your lawn. As with most of nature, your lawn wants to focus on getting fat and happy during the fall (don’t we all!). But grass needs water to help it store carbohydrates in the root system. Healthy roots, healthy lawn! A healthy root system helps it over-winter (i.e., go dormant through the winter) so that it can jump up and grow lushly in the spring. Water twice weekly in the morning so that it dries off before evening. Otherwise, you may also start growing fungus. Not good.
- Lime, as in Limestone, not for drinks! Lime, also known as calcium carbonate or chalk to your kids, helps get the soil into grass’s ideal target range of 6-7.0 pH. But here’s a little secret: it takes hundreds of pounds of lime to move the pH even a little bit. So, don’t get just one 40lb bag. That’s like getting a thimble of water when your thirsty. Instead, get about 5-10 bags (200-400 lbs) of lime per 1/2-1 acre. That’s a lot of lifting so please call us if you’d like us to take care of this for you.
- “Free fertilizer here!”– during the first couple of light leaf falls, you can do a leaf cleanup by chopping up the leaves with your lawn mower. This also gives your lawn some free fertilizer. Once the leaves start falling heavily, it is best to do a full fall cleanup leaf removal. Leaf piles can damage your lawn in just a couple of days and kill it within a week, especially if the leaves are wet. They introduce fungus and mold. Nobody wants a fungus among us. So remove those leaves.
- Garden Prep – what plants should be clipped and when? Good question. Sometimes it comes down to preference. For example, we have some clients who prefer to leave ornamental grasses and hydrangea long through the winter. Others prefer that we clip the grasses low when we do their yard cleanup. And when it comes to hydrangea, well that’s a subject for another blog because each variety is best pruned at various times and in different ways. Send me an email and I’ll be glad to answer your specific garden prep or plant question. Please include a picture of the plant if you can.
- Leaf Removal from Gardens — removing leaves from your lawn ensures your grass stays healthy. Removing leaves from under your shrubs ensure that various plant eating bugs do not have a comfy hibernating place underneath their favorite food. And removing leaf piles from the edges of your property give ticks one less Gran Insect Hotel to check into. Granted, during the winter, bugs are dormant, but as soon as temps hit 50 degrees, they wake up and they’re hungry and want to make some hungry offspring to dine on delectable plants. Remove those leaves. Removes those bugs. This is SO important for a complete fall cleanup!
- Enjoy a Pumpkin Flavored Beverage — come on! Best thing for a healthy property is a healthy property owner. Get some relaxation time with your family while we take care of your yard. It is fall after all!
I’ll be glad to help.