small pond in the backyard

How to Get Your Backyard Ready for Fall and Winter

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Just like that, summer is almost over. Even though most of the US is feeling the brunt of a heatwave, nights are still cooler, and pretty soon, we’ll be bundling up lightly for the fall (and a little heavier for the winter).

One thing about the summer that you should take advantage of is getting the outside of your home ready for the colder climate. This includes decks, unattached garages and sheds, and your lawn and garden. If you have a pool, now is also the best time to make sure that it’s all set for the fall and winter.

Fall-Proofing the Pool and Deck

Most of us won’t be able to use the pool during the fall and winter, but you can’t just drain the water from your pool and call it a day. The process is a little more involved than that. Otherwise, you run the risk of ruining your pool’s filtration system, and you could be looking at hefty repair fines come the next spring and summer.

  • Make sure it’s free from dirt and debris, such as any floating leaves and branches. You could also put in pool chemicals for the winter that could suppress the growth of any dirt and bacteria. Check the status of your deck too. If it’s in disrepair, a coating of pool deck overlay should help restore it.
  • Ensure that the water and pH level is correct. This will be determined by such factors as the pool’s finish, lining materials, and the type of cover you’ll be using. Not sure? Check with your pool installer. They would have all the information you need.
  • You’re going to need to shut down your filtration system, but before you do, you need to check it thoroughly. Make sure there isn’t any water in the lines and that it’s in good working condition. Replace any parts that are broken now before shutting it down.
  • You might not think pool covers are unnecessary, but they are. Instead of draining the water (which some believe is a bad idea), the pool cover is your best protection against any dirt and debris from accumulating in the water. Speak to your pool installer for the best type of cover for your pool.

Fall-Proofing Your Yard and Garden

person's hand on top of grass lawn

It’s not just the pool, deck and patio that you need to get ready for the fall and winter, your lawn and garden would also need tending to. Most gardening and landscape experts believe that you should begin “winterizing” your yard six weeks before the start of the colder weather.

  • Efficiency is the key to ensuring that your yard is still healthy come spring. Before starting on any project, you need to assess the state of your yard. Take note of which plants and flowers did well over the summer and which ones need to be culled. This assessment would also show you which bare areas could do with some mulching.
  • Fertilize your lawn with slow-release fertilizers, particularly if your yard is made up of turfgrass. Slow-release fertilizers tend to be all-natural as well, so you’re giving your turfgrass adequate nutrients for the winter.
  • If you have a vegetable garden, you’re also going to need to remove any dead plants and place them in your compost bin. Letting it rot in the soil could cause diseases in your healthy vegetable patches. If you choose to till the soil for the winter, try to use small garden tillers instead of large ones, so you don’t accidentally do it excessively and cause more harm than good.

Getting your backyard ready for the fall and winter will not only ensure that you have a pleasant-looking space in your home, but it also means you’ll have to do less work come next year’s spring and summer.

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