This is a sponsored post for Ryobi Outdoors but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.
I cannot believe fall is in full swing and before we know it we will be buried in snow! Yes I said it the “S” word. Being from Massachusetts I know how bad the winters can get so I want to give my yard, that I’ve spent so much time on, a fighting chance this winter. Fall prep is important maybe even more important than how you maintain your lawn in the spring and summer months. Start the work now for a beautiful yard in the spring.
So how do we get our lawn ready for the winter?
Seed 6-8 weeks before the first freeze. This will help the grass develop roots to last the winter months.
Game of pick up sticks
Fall and winter seems to be the season of falling limbs and sticks in my yard. I have a few large trees. About once a week I wander my yard for 15 minutes or so picking up sticks. I do this so I am not mowing over them. The pile below only took me a few minutes to gather. Buy the springtime with the weight of the snow my pile is almost the size of a car. Can you imagine how much damage that could do to a mower? These sticks make great kindling for your fire pit.
Let it breath but give it food.
When you are getting close to putting your mower away for the season use the mower one last time as a mulcher. Check to make sure your mower is a mulcher. My Ryobi 40v cordless lawn mower actually has a mulching attachment when you are not bagging. Mulching towards the end of the season will not suffocate your lawn instead it will give your yard some food.
Mow your lawn
When the colder weather hits in the fall we have a tendency to think we can stop mowing our lawn. When in actuality we should keep up with the lawn and pick up those leaves because they are blocking the sun from the yard. Leave suffocate grass during the winter.
I remember one winter when I was living in a rental house. The snow came early that year and because I left so many leaves on the lawn when spring rolled around I had a lot of bald patches on the grass.
Let’s talk about leaves
While fall foliage is one of my favorite sites in the world I dread when the leaves start to fall. I have a lot of trees in my yard which means that’s a lot of leaves to pick up. After a few years I have learned my lesson. Instead of one backbreaking session of raking and blowing leaves I try to pick up a bag or two every weekend. It makes the task seem less daunting.
Now another reason I use a phased approach with my leaves is that instead of blowing them all into lawn bags I like to mulch a portion of them. There is nothing more satisfying than just mowing over a pile of leaves that your don’t have to bag up. So what’s my reason for mulching the leaves? I do have some perennials around the yard and spreading the mulch around them gives and added layer of insulation for the winter.
Put away the rake
It has been a very long time…. Maybe 3 years since I picked up a rake to rake my entire lawn. The first year I did that it was about 15 to 20 bags of leaves. Now I grab my Ryobi 40v cordless leaf blower. Sweeping from sided to side I section out my lawn and blow leaves into piles. I only use my rake to scoop the leaves into bags.
Bagging your leaves
Now this is one of my biggest tips. Next time you are at Home Depot grab a leaf and lawn shoot. This is the best $6-8 I’ve ever spent. It keeps your bag upright and helps funnel the leave into the bag. Without this there is nothing more frustrating than a bag that tips over and leaves that go anywhere but in the bag.
Trim your branches
To keep your trees and bushes healthy for the Spring trim off the dead branches. I keep a pair of gardening sheers in my shed handy to clip small branches and bushes. By clipping these dead branches it will help with new growth in the spring.
Remove your annual plants.
Now we have spent so much of our summer keeping our plants alive. The majority of these plants are annuals and now its time to pull them out for the winter. Why not leave these dried up eyesores and remove them in the spring? Because they can attract pests and diseases can live on these dead plants. So it’s time to clean out those window boxes and garden beds.
Trim those hedges
Fall is a great time to trip those hedges or bushes that have grown over the summer. Now I don’t tend to trim any flowering vegetation in the fall because this can prevent flowering in the winter but most of my yard is greenery so I like to shape it up for the winter. I use my Ryobi 40v cordless hedge trimmer to do the job. My one suggestion is if you are not a pro yet at trimming hedges start in your backyard. That way by the time you get to the front you will have perfected your trimming style.
Why do I choose Ryobi?
I have decided to build out my Ryobi outdoor system for a few reasons. All the batteries are interchangeable and there are no cords. Since I went with the same 40 volt tools when one battery runs out in the middle of the job I have 3 more that I can switch out. What really sold me on these tools is the fact that they are light. I can trim the hedges or blow the leaves for an hour or two without my arm falling off. And most importantly I can start my lawn more at the push of a button instead of 30 attempts of pulling a cord.
It takes preparation to but your yard into hibernation. Think about the squirrels and how much prep work goes into finding and hiding those acorns for the Winter. Let’s start gathering those acorns.