Fall has (finally!) arrived in Vancouver!

Despite an uncharacteristically warm and dry early Fall, we’ve finally reached peak Fall in the Pacific Northwest! Leaves are changing colors, the rain is back in full force, and the return to mostly indoor living has arrived. 

While we may not be using our backyard spaces as much with the cooler and rainier weather, there’s still plenty to do to get our yards ready to withstand the coming seasons. After all, Fall yard prep will really put you ahead of the game when it’s time for Spring cleaning in just a few short months.

If you already know you need to do some Fall yard prep but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place! Read on for five things you should do now to get your yard ready for Fall and Winter.

1. Tidy garden beds

The yellow and red leaves may look pretty before they fall off our trees, piles of wet and dead leaves covering our garden beds and lawns is not a good look. Be sure you’re taking the time to clean up leaves and other debris as it falls and those chilly Fall winds blow everything around. 

While you’re at it, be sure to clean up any dead plant debris, like flowers or fallen leaves, and trim back your bushes and larger plants so they are ready to grow again in the Spring.

2. Keep up with lawn care

It’s a common misconception that once Fall rolls around we no longer have to mow our lawns, but that couldn’t be more wrong! Our lawn will continue to grow for a month or two into Fall, especially with the increased water supply from the rain. 

Be sure you continue to mow your lawn throughout the Fall, and fill any bald spots with fresh seed so it’s ready to grow lush and healthy in a few months when the sun returns.

If it’s been a while since you’ve aerated your lawn, it may be a good time to do that, as well. Over time, the soil under your grass compacts and makes it harder for water to flow through the top layers and into the soil, leaving your lawn looking more like a swamp by mid-Winter.

3. Prep patios & outdoor living spaces

While most patio furniture and other outdoor equipment should be waterproof – or at least water resistant – they aren’t built for months of cold, wet weather, and it will significantly prolong the life of your patio furniture to cover it up or move it to an enclosed space, like a shed or garage. 

If you have an outdoor kitchen, make sure your grill is thoroughly cleaned from all those Summer barbecues and all appliances are covered from the elements. 

It’s also never a bad idea to powerwash your hardscapes – patios, stones, and paths – to lessen the buildup of dirt and grime through the Fall and Winter.

4. Plant bulbs for Spring blooms

If you’re dreaming of a floral paradise in your garden next Spring, it’s the perfect time to plant some of those Spring-flowering bulbs, like daffodils, irises, and tulips. 

But, remember, not all bulbs are able to withstand below-freezing temperatures, so don’t plant bulbs like dahlias, calla lilies, or gladiolus, and if you have any of these bulbs in your yard, you should plan to dig them up and store them in a warmer place through the Winter.

5. Deep clean your water features

If you plan to let your water features run through the Fall months, keep an eye on the water levels to make sure they aren’t too empty – or too full – and any debris, like leaves and branches, are cleared away promptly so as not to block any drains and pumps.

After a warm Summer, algae has probably set up shop in your water features and made any stones a bit slimy. Before more rain falls, give any rocks and stones in your water feature a good scrub to avoid any corrosion during the cooler months.

If you’re ready to let your water feature have a break for the Fall and Winter, the same rules apply. Drain the water, clean any drains and pumps, and scrub the rocks and stones from top to bottom. This will help winterize your feature so it’s able to come back just as beautiful in the Spring.

As leaves continue to fall and the sun sets a little earlier each night, make sure your yard is in good shape for the Fall and Winter months ahead so it’s easier to pick back up when Spring rolls around again.

Looking to create a backyard that you can enjoy with friends and family? Now is the time to start planning for Spring. Greenhaven has a full design team ready to get your project in motion.  Contact us today to get started.