Simple Tasks for Your Fall To-Do List
Preparing for Fall
As it starts to get chilly outside, begin making some simple adjustments around the house to prepare for the colder parts of the year. On top of getting the car washed and waxed and giving your pets a bath before it’s too cold and rainy, consider some other important things to add to your to-do list. Fall and winter preparation range from pest control, to wardrobe changes to plant maintenance. Get a head start on these chores before it’s too late!
Feeding Indoor and Outdoor Plants
For houseplants, outdoor plants and the lawn, it is recommended that they are fed or fertilized from March through October. Be sure to give your plants their last feeding at the beginning of October. General plant food is great for typical outdoor and indoor plants.
Consider using MiracleGro All Purpose plant food which feeds flowers, shrubs, houseplants, and even vegetables and trees! It’s a great money-saving way to feed plants, as it will nourish almost any plant you own.
A good choice for fertilizing the lawn is with Scott’s Turf Builder Lawn Food Fertilizer. I have used this product for many years and have found it does the best job at keeping my lawn thick and green.
Applying lawn fertilizer will require having a spreader which Scott’s also makes. This fertilizer spreader is easy to use especially if you have a small to medium sized lawn. Applying the fertilizer usually takes five minutes or less.
MiracleGro Plant Food
Scott's Lawn Fertilizer
Scotts Handheld Spreader
How Often Do You Have Your Tree(s) Trimmed
Trees are lovely additions to any home, but as the weather changes in the fall and winter, trees require some necessary attention other than just being nice to look at. “Winterizing” trees in the yard or having them cut back is very important for tree health.
For small trees less than seventeen feet tall, most gardeners and yard maintenance personnel should be able to properly trim them for the fall and winter. For larger trees, hire a professional arborist to do the job. Tree cutting is one of the most dangerous jobs in America; it’s not worth trying to cut back a tall tree on your own especially if power lines are involved.
Keep a lookout for mistletoe. Although this is a Christmas favorite, it’s also a parasite that attacks many trees such as pine and ash trees. If you see this not-so-jolly fungus growing on your trees, have it removed while an arborist is out trimming your tree.
Keep the Spiders Out
Spiders love to crawl into drains and vents to enjoy the warmth of your house. This is why we tend to find them peeking at us in the shower or staring at us while we brush our teeth. Keep them outside by sprinkling or spraying spider killers and deterrents around the perimeter of the house. I like to use Ortho Home Defense Perimeter Granules which kills both spiders and insects.
Sprinkle Ortho Home Defense Perimeter Granules around the perimeter of the house and then water the granules with the hose or watering can and enjoy an insect and spider free home for three months.
On top of using an insecticide to kill insects or spiders, close the drains to your sinks and bathtubs when they are not in use to further deter unwanted visitors in your home.
Ortho Insect and Spider Killer
Clean Up and Cover Up
The beginning of fall is a great time to do simple, small tasks that prevent big headaches later on. Before putting a cover over the barbeque grill, remove the ashes from the tray and give the grill a good cleaning.
Easy Off BBQ Cleaner will make the job go faster to remove tough grease spots from the grill. You’ll be glad you cleaned your grill in the fall rather than waiting until next spring or summer when everything you cooked has been caked on your grill for a whole year!
Depending on where you live, it may also be wise to cover up any plants that won’t make it through the harsh cold at night. Another option is to bring these types of plants inside. Keep an eye on the weather or listen in on the news when there are warnings about frosty nights. Many plants and even some perennials can’t handle frost.
Cleaning the Grill
Purge or Pack
Getting rid of old or unwanted stuff is always a great way to start the new season. When it comes to clothing and shoes, donate any items that you neglected to wear over the summer.
Also look forward into your fall and winter wardrobe and pick out warm clothing you don’t plan on wearing and donating it to people in need. The less fortunate would be grateful to be able to benefit from clothing they can use now, especially during harsh weather.
So that your donation has the most profound effect, choose, organizations that give clothing directly to the needy rather than those that pick through what you donate to sell it in thrift stores.
As you comb through your closet, you may want to consider what I like to call “seasonizing” your wardrobe. This means only keeping items in your closet for that current season and storing clothing for the opposite weather under the bed in plastic storage containers or on a high shelf in the closet. Every six months, usually the beginning of fall and beginning of spring, switch them out.
A simple storage case like Rubbermaid Low Profile Box easily fits under a bed and won’t take much away for your budget in exchange for more room in your closet and less time sorting through clothing to figure out what to wear.
You may also want to take this opportunity to clean scarves and jackets so that they’re freshened up and ready to wear. While you’re at it, throw your blankets that have been collecting dust in the washing machine as well.