Fall Cleanup

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Because of the cooler temperatures and rainfall, autumn is the best time to prepare your lawn for spring. When should you do fall cleanup? The best time to start your fall cleanup landscaping is before the first frost.

To keep your garden in good condition during fall, keep mowing your lawn as needed. Also, it is an ideal time to aerate the ground so the roots get ready to receive oxygen, water, and fertilizers.

If you have great amounts of leaves, you can rake them or you can mow them and use them as compost. Fertilizing is a good idea for this time of the year. A fall application delivers essential nutrients for the grass. Also, you can apply some weed control system to avoid that weeds absorb the energy that your plants need.

A frequent question that homeowners ask is “When should I stop watering my lawn in the fall?” In areas with four different seasons, fall is the time when temperatures begin to drop, days are shorter and grass growth slows down. There are less sunshine and heat to evaporate the water so you need to reduce the frequency of watering.

As a general rule, you can continue watering until the ground gets frozen. You can water a few times a week during the warm and dry weather. If you live in an area that receives at least 1 inch of precipitation per week, watering is not necessary.

What does fall cleanup include?

If you are thinking about what you should do for a fall clean up, there are some actions that you need to consider. Fall lawn cleanup includes cleaning out debris, tilling the garden, trimming the plants, cleaning out the gutters, aerating, feeding the lawn, raking and mulching.

The fastest way to clean up your yard is to be prepared and get the proper tools for the job.  A yard cart or wheelbarrow can make the work easier for carrying both the tools and garbage collecting. 

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A good idea is to dig any large weeds up using a weeder or by hand pulling, and rake the smaller ones to discard.

With the help of pruning shears, you can cut dry and dead branches and prune plants. A mower will help you with thicker branches. Annual plants can benefit from micro pruning to extend their flowering time.

Of course, you can hire a provider to issue this kind of task. There are some leaf cleanup services that can be really helpful. How much should a fall clean up cost?

For the average properties, the fall cleanup services can cost $300. Landscapers can charge $5 to $10 per leave bag.

A monthly clean up costs $100-$200 and it usually includes lawn care, flower beds, gardening, pruning, and mulching. Hiring a landscaper for a one time yard clean up costs $40 to $45 per worker per hour.

For raking leaves or a typical leaf removal service you should pay at least $70. Average prices for fall yard cleanup range from $125 to $253. In the fall and spring, costs for tree debris removal and leaf clean up including gardening can be around $400 to $700.

How can I make my yard beautiful?

There are some tips you can follow to make your yard beautiful. Some cheap ideas will help you improve the way it looks by spending less than $100.

-Flowers and plants help improve the appearance of the properties. You can plant a few varieties of flowers in the front yard, place pots where they can get good sunlight, and water them regularly. It is recommended to include some perennials such as roses or mums and invest, at least for the first time, in good quality soil.

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-If you have trees and bushes, remember to trim any branches that are close to your house or your neighbor’s. Try to keep the hedges at a nice and consistent height.

-Use products to kill weeds from the flower beds and stubborn areas like the sidewalk and driveway.

-Dried leaves look nice at first, but after a while, they can start to block the sun from reaching the lawn. You can make a fall leaf cleanup by raking or blowing up the dry products.

-A good layer of mulch will hinder the growth of weeds and protect the roots of the plants so that the sun does not burn them in summer. In addition, it can help beautify your garden by enhancing the color of the flowers.

-Creating a border between the lawn and lawn beds as well as along pathways or driveways will make your garden look more pleasant. You can do it by hand or with an edger.

-Look around your garden to find walls, doors, or spaces that look sloppy or worn. Painting is a good way to make your garden look beautiful without spending too much money, and you can do it yourself.

-If you have a big tree, you could get an old bench to put next to it. It will create a romantic space that you can also enjoy.

How do I disinfect my yard?

There are some easy tasks that you can do to keep your yard clean, especially if you have a family and pets to avoid that your children roll around poop on the grass and other disposals. You need water, bleach, and a hose or a pressure washer that you can replace by some buckets if the garden is not too wide.

Start by picking up any litter or rubbish and then hose down the grass applying a bleach solution prepared with the bleach and the water (4-10 ox of bleach per gallon of water). You can leave between 30 minutes to 2 hours and then rinse it all off.

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If you exceed the recommended amounts of bleach, you could kill important bacteria and micro fungi that help your plants grow. The bleach treatment should not be done very often to avoid damaging your grass and so that the bacteria you want to get rid of do not become resistant to the product.

Should you leave leaves on the ground?

Most people ask if it is ok to leave leaves on the lawn over the winter. Sometimes they rake them because they can suffocate the grass. This is a risk if you have a massive amount of dry product over the lawn. You don’t have to clean up your leaves unless you have tons of them.

So, what happens if you don’t rake your leaves? Chances are that your garden does not suffer any long-term consequences. Leaves supply the soil with nutrients and they can also help suppress weeds.

How long can leaves stay on grass? For gardens with tons of leaves, you can guess how long can leaves stay on grass before raking them off. As a general rule, you can wait 3-4 days. More than four days can be unwise.

Should leaves be mulched into lawn?

There are other alternatives to raking. Leaves can be mulched into the lawn so they are decomposed by earthworms and other microorganisms who can turn them into organic matter.

So if you are asking “Can I just mow my leaves?” The answer is yes. It is OK to mow leaves instead of raking. Wait until they are crunchy and then mow them into little pieces and then leave them. They will protect the soil around your plants.

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In conclusion, despite raking is not bad for your lawn and raking leaves is not necessarily bad, it is important to understand that fallen leaves don’t present many dangers to the health of your garden. Dead leaves are a free source of nutrients that can benefit plants and soil, as well as encourage beneficial wildlife. In other words, dead leaves are good for grass.

Mulched leaves take 6 to 12 months to decompose because they don’t contain nitrogen, which is necessary to speed the process. To shorten that time, you can tend a leaf compost pile properly by spreading the dry ones out in a 1-2-inch-thick layer.

Some leaves are not good for compost because they are higher in lignin and lower in calcium and nitrogen. Examples of them include oak, holly, sweet chestnut, and beech. On the other hand, the best leaves for composting are maple, poplar, willow, and fruit tree leaves.

fall flower garden

Should you clear fallen leaves from flower beds? Regarding the flower beds, leaves can protect their tender bulbs and ruts from low temperatures or they can prevent air and water from reaching the soil. It depends on the type of tree that drops the leaves.

Leaves from the red maple are good because they contain calcium and other nutrients but they produce thin leaves that are tightly packed together after rains. In such cases, it would be better to blow them away. Other kinds of leaves (white popular and American basswood) can remain within your flower beds until spring perennials grow.

What to do with lots of leaves?

When speaking about raking, people wonder “Are metal or plastic rakes better?”. Plastic rakes are lighter than metallic ones and for that reason, they are easier to handle, especially if you have kids who like doing the work with you.

As they come in different shapes and sizes, they can use them without difficulties. However, if you need solid rakes, metal ones are more appropriate because they are more resistant and will not break under pressure or if you put some small stones or twigs.

lots of leaves in fall

What to do with leaves after you rake them? The first step is to check your town and state ordinances so you can decide how to dispose of the raked leaves. Once you know that, there are different options like blowing, bagging, vacuuming, and burning. Another option is to make compost piles with dead leaves.

If you own fields or woods behind your home, blowing leaves into that space is a good place where they can decompose and continue the life cycle. Many towns send vacuum trucks for leaves so you need to pile them at the curb close to the pickup dates. Remember to avoid covering storm drains or blocking fire hydrants.

Raking leaves and health

Like many other home duties, people think that raking leaves can be a good workout. According to specialists, raking leaves is a moderate physical activity and can be a good workout as it can be compared with walking. It helps strengthen the upper body, including the core strength, back, and stomach. Be careful, as raking leaves can be bad for your back if you do not work in a proper position.

Can you get sick from raking leaves? There are some health risks associated with the leaf raking. A leaf pile left for a long time can become a good place for mold spores, affecting people with mold allergy or any chronic respiratory conditions. It could end up in breathing issues.

Grass care during fall cleanup

For the winter, it is better to keep the grass long enough so that blades provide some insulation for the growing point of the plant. However, if it is too long, it will become matted encouraging winter diseases.

Fall is the best time of the year to fertilize your lawn. What do you put on grass in fall? You can make your grass look better and healthier with the help of these products. They will provide your lawn with nutrients to get it through the winter and will help the grass grow stronger in spring.

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There are some actions you can take to make your grass thicker and greener. First, it is important to take care of your soil. A soil testing will reveal if the pH and other conditions are inhibiting a healthy growth of your grass. There are some nutrients you can apply to restore the pH balance like lime or other soil amendments.

Another recommendation is to overseed by simply sowing grass seed into the existing grass. You should also fertilize, irrigate, and mow properly. Finally, remember to issue regular weed control.

Mulching is better than bagging your grass as it is completely beneficial for the lawn. Earthworms decompose mulched leaves while microorganisms turn them into organic matter that plants can use. 

So if you have wondered what to do with grass clippings after mowing, a good idea is to recycle them by returning them to the grass. Grass clippings of 1 inch or less can be left over the ground as they will filter down to the surface of the soil and decompose quickly.

If you have any questions about this article or fall cleanup services, give us a call at 919-358-7426. We’d be happy to help you.

Belton’s Professional Lawn Care & Landscaping