Fall Property Preparations: SHAKING THE DUST OFF BEFORE THE SNOW ARRIVES
Autumn is a time to say farewell to the warm days of summer and prepare for the potentially brutal winter. Our homes and gardens need a little bit of extra attention right now—we don’t want to regret not finishing those few chores before the snows dump down. The best way to prepare is to slowly check off your list of To-Dos. Do as much or as little as you can when you have time on weekends or after work, or call in a professional when necessary. Start with these guidelines:
Make sure the chimney pipe is clean and clear.
Clean all leaves and debris from the roof.
Clean out gutters and gutter downspouts.
Make sure you have enough firewood for the winter and stack nicely away from buildings.
Protect the bark of all young fruit and ornamental trees with plastic or metal vole protection.
Remove all leaves from lawn areas so they don’t kill the grass before spring (compost if possible).
Turn any compost piles.
Cut back certain perennial flowers and vegetables once fully dead.
Check for any bug or rodent entry holes in the house foundation and fill with expanding foam.
Put out reflectors for the plow operator (remember to overcompensate because gravel will be pushed everywhere).
Dry herbs or make herb pestos to freeze before the first big frosts.
Make sure snow shovels are accessible and in good working order.
Change screens over to storm windows.
Care for fall vegetables like kale and consider building a cold frame for extended crops of microgreens.
A final weeding of all garden beds is very important.
Plant an overwintering leguminous crop to add nitrogen to soil.
Plant garlic a few weeks before the first frost, then cover the young growth with leaves or other insulation.
Remove all dead, potentially diseased garden matter to prevent disease from overwintering.
Blow out any water lines that may freeze. Remove all hoses from faucets.
Have a professional service your furnace or other heating system.
Perform an energy audit if you think your house is losing heat.
by Chris Hewitt, Country Wisdom
Remember to call the professionals when you have questions because so many local service providers are friendly and willing to help with free advice. They are also willing to come right over if you’d prefer to have someone else perform some of the above tasks. If you need a hot cider to help you through it all, go ahead and get crazy.