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Fall Maintenance Tasks for Your Yard, Home, and Outdoor Spaces

fall maintenance tasks

Fall is a favorite season in St. Louis—the humidity finally lets us breathe again, the breeze cools, and being outside is a delight, day or night. The unfortunate part of fall? It won’t last that long, and right behind comes winter. Use these perfect fall days to get all the necessary outdoor fall maintenance tasks completed, so your home’s exterior, yard, and outdoor spaces are ready for winter. Then kick back, relax, and enjoy the perfect weather while it lasts. 

Do Proactive Tree Pruning 

If any trees have weak or broken branches, or branches dangling too close to the house, get the pruning done before winter storms roll in. Walk through your yard, taking stock of each tree’s condition. Notice any branches that are getting too close to power lines or light fixtures. Tree trimming is a proactive maintenance task that can save you significantly in hours and dollars. It’s much better to trim those gangly branches before the winter ice does it for you. Be sure to use proper safety gear when trimming, or hire a professional, insured crew to do the work for you. 

Reset the Outdoor Lighting Timer 

If we’ve installed your lighting system, you don’t need to worry about resetting the timer. At Outdoor Lighting Solutions, we use timers with automatic settings, customized for what our customers want. And if there’s a problem with the settings, all you have to do is give us a call. 

If you have a system with a mechanical timer, however, don’t forget to adjust it for Daylight Savings Time and for the shorter daylight hours of winter. Most mechanical timers have a dial with a red pin for “off” hours and a green pin for “on” hours. Update the settings so your lights come on at the correct time for the winter season. 

Get the Gutters Cleaned

It’s not a fun job, but it’s an important task. Make sure debris and leaves are cleared out of gutters. Clean gutters prevent drainage issues and water damage. Rodents and insects are looking for a cozy home and are attracted to a nice, cozy pile of leaves stuffed in a gutter. Best to remove that temptation and keep your gutters free of critters.  

Get the Chimney Cleaned

Lack of proper chimney maintenance can lead to very serious consequences. This is one of those maintenance jobs that does not lend itself to a DIY approach. Call in a professional to check the fireplace and chimney, clean if necessary, seal any hairline cracks, and repair any other issues that might be present. A cozy fire is one of the best parts of winter, so be ready to enjoy it safely.  

Stock Up on Firewood 

Beat the rush for a good winter supply of firewood. You can avoid paying premium prices—or ending up with green wood–by getting your wood supply now. Choose a level area away for stacking wood, and cover it with a tarp to keep wood dry. 

Test and Clean Security Lights

Motion sensors and other security lights are even more important in winter. There’s a lot less daylight to work with; you’ll want adequate light not only for safety when coming and going, but also for enhanced security during dark nights. Inspect light fixtures for any damage. Clean off debris, leaves, and cobwebs and replace bulbs if needed. And if you’re tired of looking at those ugly old floodlights, give us a call for updated, high-quality entryway lighting options

Winterize the Lawn 

Doing the right lawn maintenance in the fall will make a big difference in the spring. You can aerate for soil health, which enables a lusher carpet of grass in warm weather. Apply fertilizer, as well; find the right fertilizer for your grass type. Reseed any bare or patchy spots, or overseed the whole lawn. 

Winterize the Garden 

If you still have some cool-weather crops producing, enjoy! For all warm-weather vegetables, it’s time to clean up. Cut back and haul out stems, vines, and dying plants. Remove any weeds and rake the whole garden bed to get rid of debris and roots. Then add a thick layer of organic, nutrient-rich mulch to get your garden soil in perfect condition for next spring’s planting. 

Plant Bulbs and Cold-Tolerant Annuals 

A lot of the fall maintenance tasks are gifts you give to your future self. Spend time digging and planting bulbs now, and you’ll enjoy a great show of flowers in spring. You can also up the visual appeal in your flower beds now with cold-hardy annuals. Pansies and calendula are two easy favorites. 

Insulate Pipes

Unless you’ve installed frost-proof spigots, it’s a good idea to protect all outdoor spigots with faucet insulators. This is a cheap and easy task you can get done in an hour or two. Remove and drain the water hose, and store it in a shed or garage. Then install the insulator over any outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing when the temperatures drop. If you’re still using a hose for late-fall lawn watering, purchase a faucet insulator and put a reminder on your calendar to install it later. 

Close the Pool for the Season 

It’s a sad time when the pool has to shut down for winter. It’s okay to take a moment of silence to deal with your emotions. We get it. Once you’ve composed yourself, put away all those pool floats and toys. The winterization process is a bit different for above-ground pools and in-ground pools. Follow the right procedure for your pool and put on the cover. Don’t worry; it will be waiting for you. 

Set Up the Fire Pit 

In the meantime, there’s a lot to love about cooler weather. Evenings around a fire pit, making s’mores and telling jokes, are high on the list. Find a level area for the fire pit, and set up seating in a circle around it. Make sure you have good lighting so it’s easy to see what you’re doing and find your way from fire pit to house safely. Pathway lights are great for creating a well-lit trail or establishing a perimeter around the seating. You might also install bistro lights on the outskirts for an even more magical feel. 

Let Us Help

Now, while you may not be emotionally or mentally ready for winter, at least your yard and your home’s exterior is all set. Make sure your outdoor lighting is in good shape for the coming months, too–check for any corroding wires or damage from critters, clean and straighten fixtures so your whole outdoor lighting system is in perfect shape and you won’t have to do maintenance or repairs in cold weather. Or–even better–give us a call to set up a maintenance plan for ongoing outdoor light system care at a great price.

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