So long, Summer. Hello, Fall.
Today is the autumnal equinox, which marks the first official day of the fall season. Fall is one of the shortest and most beloved seasons. Despite the current sizzling temperatures in some areas of the country and the fact that your garden is still growing, the season between summer and winter is indeed here. We’re already experiencing cooler days, colder nights and less daylight. The sun will rise later and set earlier so now is the time to get organized.
Rather than miss the wonderful things that the fall season has to offer, get a head start on your home so you can spend your weekends drinking pumpkin lattes or ales and watching football. Enjoy the season while it lasts because winter can show up anytime after Thanksgiving.
We’ve raked the web and bagged a list of the nine essential tips to help you prepare your home for the colorful season ahead.
Clean and Store Patio Furniture
Protect your patio furniture during the offseason in a weatherproof storage space to keep it from getting dirty, to prevent mold/mildew growth and to extend your furniture’s life.
Pool Accessories and Yard Games
It’s time to put the odds and ends of summer into storage. That includes anything you can’t leave outside, like gardening tools, yard games, birdhouses, bikes, toys, and other random things your kids leave in the yard.
Screen Windows Off, Storm Windows On
Fall is a great time to open your windows and let in the fresh crisp air. If your home happens to have separate screens and storm windows, you’ll want to swap them out before the temperature really starts to drop. You’ll increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your energy bill.
Loose the Rake. Mulch the Leaves.
After the first leaf falls the rest will soon follow. Mulch your leaves with a mulching mower or a mulching attachment. Afterward, spread the shredded leaves on your vegetable garden and flowers to naturally nourish your landscape and keep it healthy.
Sure, pull these out of storage but, please wait to put them up. Just give it a minute. At least until Thanksgiving weekend.
Prevent Frozen Pipes, Drain and Store Garden Hose
In preparation for winter, locate and shut off the outdoor water valve from inside your house. Once the supply valve is shut off on the inside, go outside and open the spigot to drain the excess water from your outdoor pipe. Also, detach your garden hoses, and wind them to drain any remaining water. Then store your dry, organized hoses in your shed or garage. You won’t need it for a while.
Winterize Your Irrigation System
If you are fortunate enough to have a sprinkler system, do yourself a favor and winterize it. You can tackle it yourself by draining the system with the aid of a compressor, or if you don’t have a compressor and/or feel uncomfortable with the DIY approach, don’t worry. It’s generally not expensive to hire a professional.
Empty Lawn Mower Gas Tank
Before you move your lawn mower into storage for the off season be sure to empty the gas tank or buy a fuel stabilizer. To empty the tank, either let your mower idle until it runs out of gas or be a good neighbor and mow their lawn. Otherwise purchase a siphon pump to extract the fuel into a gas can. The extra fuel can go into your car or snow blower. Just make certain that the engine is cool and the gas has not been mixed with oil.
Does the Snow Blower Start? Where’s the Snow Shovel?
No one wants to wake up after a snow blizzard to find out that their snow blower won’t start. If you test it now and it doesn’t start at least you’ll have time to get it tuned up. New homeowner in snow country? Here’s your reminder to go out and buy a snow blower or snow shovel.