It’s that time of year again. The sun setting earlier in the evenings and the beautiful Fall foliage changing colors right before the leaves drop. Plus that means the holidays are right around the corner. With all of that in mind, it’s time to get the lawn and house cleaned up before the family arrives.

Leaf Clean Up

If you have a few seasoned trees in the yard, you’re no stranger to the amount of leaves that accrue. For that I usually just grab the rake and get after it but there are a few other ways to tackle them. Many people use leaf vacs. They make a hand-held vac for smaller jobs and of course they have a walk behind (similar to a lawn mower) for larger properties. These can definitely cut your time in half. Some of the professional rigs even have trailer mounted leaf loaders that shred the leaves straight into a covered trailer. I might just have to get my hands on one of those for the field soon. But enough day dreaming, back to work.

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I feel like the gutters get neglected until the drainage becomes an issue. Out of sight, out of mind right? I would suggest having them checked every other year. Leaves, dirt, and shingle rock can cause a blockage and you may not even know it. I have trees all around my house so I have to clean them out yearly. I start with my hand-held blower to get the big stuff then grab the hose to wash everything out. You can hire someone if you’re afraid of heights or just don’t want to mess with it. Having them cleaned and debris free allows them to hold up much better in the long run. Don’t forget the check the down spouts. Some of that leftover debris may end up in the flowerbed.

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Once the yard is clean, time for the flowerbeds. Things can easily get out of hand no matter how hard you try. Over grown ivy, leaves, weeds, grass, etc. Pull out all the unwanted material. Trim back your bushes, I promise it will make your deck look bigger. Don't forget to bring in some fall annuals for added color. Mums are a crowd favorite. Then top it off with a new layer of mulch. You may even want to try a weed barrier before the mulch goes down however I don’t feel they tend to work very well. Industry secret is to use trash bags instead. You can peel apart the bags, lay flat, then cover with mulch. Grass and weeds won’t have a chance. Once you’re finished you can even jazz it up with a few pumpkins for some added flair. Now you’re ready to host all of your holiday gatherings.