If it’s Fall, it’s Time to Clean Up!

Fall is the favorite time of year for many in southeastern Wisconsin.

It’s easy to see why. Nature is at its most artistic. Leaves turn brilliant sheens of orange, red and gold. The stunning sight of a tree in full transformation can stop a person in their tracks.

Beyond the beauty, though, fall is just comfortable. It’s typically warm, but not hot. Humidity is minimal. Barring rain, it’s ideal for most outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, one of those activities is cleaning up the yard after a season of growth.

Those beautiful fallen leaves shouldn’t be left on the lawn and in planting beds. Nor should plants enter the cold season in full leafed-out mode.


Fall clean-up can be time consuming, depending on the size of your yard. If you have lots of trees, it can span weeks as leaves continue to fall.

No time (or interest) to tackle the task? Fall leaf cleanup in Brookfield, New Berlin, Elm Grove, WIContact GMS, your lawn and landscaping partner, for complete fall clean-up service in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI.

If you’re ready to pull out the rakes and other tools, here are vital jobs to get done before the snow flies:

  • Clean out planting beds: Wet leaves grow mold, which can spread to nearby plantings. Prevent it by raking or blowing leaves and debris from the beds. The ground doesn’t have to be spotless. Just prevent clumps or piles of organic material.
  • Shred those leaves: Shredded leaves – such as by a lawnmower – are a different story. The material is natural fertilizer that breaks down quickly when spread on the lawn or in planting beds. If your collected leaves are too thick for shredding, move them to a safe area where they can decompose, use as compost fuel, or take to your municipal recycling center. Don’t rake leaves into culverts or ditches. Blocked drainage creates bigger problems.
  • Limber up the lawn: Add a pre-winter fertilizer to strengthen grass. Cut lawn height to 2 inches by late November.
  • Prune prudently: Once trees shed their leaves, it’s safe to trim any limbs (except for evergreens). You might even wait a few months, as winter is the best time to prune trees. Trim back shrubs and perennials now, though. How far should you go? Cut back to the lowest buds on branches. Remove dead branches and shoots entirely. They’ll be ready to spring back come spring.

Don’t get too comfortable once the yard work finishes. Our next post will examine what should be done on your home’s exterior. Needless to say, fall is probably your favorite season for other reasons than all the work involved.

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