Fall is the PERFECT time to prepare the outside of your home and the areas around it for the winter cold. It’s not yet too cold and the fall weather is ideal for working outdoors in many parts of the country, including right here in Northern California.
Here are a few quick and easy yard chores that can be fun to get the kids involved with.
Lawn and garden prep: The catch phrase “winterize your lawn” is more than just fancy words. And for most parts of the country, fall is the ideal time to prepare your lawn for spring.
Adding fertilizer to your lawn now will promote growth of its root system for the winter. Look for a winter lawn fertilizer with a high potassium ratio for optimal results.
Leaf pick-up: With the cooler weather come the changing colors of leaves. And soon after, comes the lawn covered in fallen leaves. There are a number of ways you can deal with fallen leaves:
Compost: Establish a compost bin (or worm bin), fill it up with leaves (and other compostable materials) and prepare yourself for organic, nutrient-rich soil down the road.
Decorations: Grab a few leaves or branches and feature them in your home decor.
Make them disappear: Some communities provide curbside leaf services. Or you can always have a yard waste can that’s picked up by the sanitation department.
Clean the gutters: You might not realize your gutters are clogged until the rain comes and water starts trickling and gushing over the sides. Wet leaves that remain in the gutters can also freeze when the really cold temperatures hit, adding significant weight and possibly causing damage.
Insulate water pipes: Avoid freezing pipes in the winter by insulating them. Whether it’s in a basement or outside near the front lawn, this is one of the oldest and most trusted winter prep measures.
Begin by cleaning the pipes of any dirt or grease. Insulate by using fiberglass insulation, tubular sleeve insulation or a trusty old blanket. Secure the corners with duct tape for a nice tight connection.
Cover the AC unit: Sure, your air conditioner unit is designed to withstand the elements. But it’s possible that wet leaves and debris can rust and damage its internal workings. With a hose, spray the blades free of anything loose, then cover the entire unit with a breathable waterproof cover.
There are plenty of other ways to prep your home’s exterior, but this is a great place to start. Next time, we move indoors for cold winter prepÉ