It's time to (fall) clean up your yard!

“Fall” certainly lived up to its seasonal name this year. Some trees began dropping leaves in September. Others soon followed suit.

The deluge of descending deciduous foliage is now completely upon us - and, with it, the time for fall cleanups. No one knows when the first snow will fly in Brookfield, WI (hopefully not soon, right?). When serious cold weather arrives for its long stay, though, don’t get caught with your lawn and planting beds unprepared.

A fall cleanup is the best way to ensure your yard is ready for winter and, as importantly, the rebirth of new growth in spring. Here are the important tasks to check off your work list:

  • Planting beds: Rake fallen leaves out of planting beds. If allowed to accumulate, wet leaves clump and can grow mold within weeks. An early snow practically invites unwanted fungus – probably not what you planned to “grow” in your beds.
  • Pruning: Fall pruning of deciduous plants (those with leaves) sets the stage for spring growth. Most are dormant by mid-November. Use sharp tools. Trim back trees and shrubs to just above the lowest bud on branches. Dead branches and shoots can be removed entirely. Leave evergreens alone, though; they grow year-round. Pruning them now will risk winter burn.
  • Leaves: Mulch leaves with a lawn mower. The shredded material is natural fertilizer. Leave it on your lawn, or spread in planting beds. Wondering how much it’s safe to mulch? If you can still see grass beneath the shredded leaves, you’re OK. Composting is another option for managing leaves.
  • Lawn: Cut grass back to 2 inches in late November. The short height prevents mold growth in winter, and excess thatch in spring.

You don’t need any specialized tools for a smart, successful fall cleanup in Elm Grove and New Berlin. You might have to rake leaves from planting beds, and fire up the lawn mower, a few times before it’s all done. The work you do now, though, will pay off big when the leaves are once again growing, not falling.

If you’d like help with fall cleanup in your yard, feel free to contact us.

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