One of my favorite times of the year is fall. There’s a certain smell and crispness in the air and the leaves are so beautiful. They’re pretty to look at but not so much fun to rake. Luckily, here in Lower Michigan most of the leaves are still clinging to their branches. Not for long though!
With the fall season upon us, raking leaves and a few other chores around the yard will pay off when spring rolls back around. Here are a few fall yard tasks that will make a good investment in your home’s curb appeal:
· If you notice water pooling in certain areas of your yard, it’s time to aerate it. If the soil is overly compressed water and nutrients will have hard time reaching the roots of your grass. You can rent an aerator at most hardware or large home stores. Ask your neighbors if they would like to aerate their lawns with you and you can split the rental fee.
· In Michigan, late September or early October is a great time to fertilize the lawn so roots will grow nice and strong to survive the cold winter. This Old House recommends a fertilizer with a high phosphorous mix (12-25-12).
· When you’re getting ready to cut your grass for the last time, lower the mower deck so that it cuts the grass to about 1.5 inches high. This makes grass more resistant to diseases in the cold and wet months of fall. It also allows leaves to blow freely across your lawn and not get mired down in long grass.
· If your lawn is blanketed with leaves you should rake them or use a leaf blower. Raking them onto a tarp makes it a little easier to get them into a yard bag or compost bin. If there is just a light scattering of leaves, you can mow right over them and they will mulch down into the grass.
· Now is the time to trim dead wood from trees and bushes and cut back perennials that are done blooming (cut them down close to the ground). It’s also a great time to plant new shrubbery (I always think of Monty Python and The Holy Grail when I use that word!).
So many chores! When you own your own home it seems there’s always something to do to maintain it. As a kid, my friends and I would pile up the leaves as high as possible and have a couple of older brothers and sisters take our hands and feet and swing us into the pile. It didn’t matter if those itchy leaves would go down our shirts and pants. We’d keep lining up to get flung into the pile. Ah, to be young again. I’d much rather be swung into a leaf pile than to have to rake one up!