Fall is a Great Time to Winterize Your Landscape
As the days get shorter and cooler, we face myriad adjustments in our routines. The kiddos settle into a new school year, the weather begins to shift, and nature responds accordingly. In addition to adjusting your lawn care schedule for autumn, there are a few additional steps a wise homeowner will take in preparation for the coming winter.
Most of us know the importance of changing our mowing, watering, fertilizing, and weed treating methods as the grass and foliage in our yards prepare to go dormant. But what about all the equipment use to care for our landscape?
Your tools, machines, and irrigation system need to be winterized properly, so they’ll be in mint condition next spring. Additionally, the cooler weather is a great time to reseed or overseed.
Taking Care of Your Grass
Late summer and/or early fall is a perfect time to reseed your yard, if you’ve found this to be a necessary task in the past. If you aren’t sure whether to do so, check for dry patches that seem a bit pallid. How to Prepare Your Lawn For Overseeding has some great ideas about proper seeding strategies to ensure verdant grass growth.
The reason this is a great time to reseed or overseed is because neither the seeds nor the soil are up against the harsh heat of summer. Everything can settle in and begin to germinate in the cool comfort of temperate topsoil that isn’t battling against heat-related evaporation. Additionally, as the leaves begin to fall, you’ve got the benefit of natural mulching to fortify your lawn.
Taking Care of Your Equipment
Whether it’s your leaf blower or your lawn mower, when you’re ready to put it away in the winter, proper storage is always wise. Of course these machines need to be placed in a dry area that’s fully protected from debris and precipitation. But it’s also a good idea to cover any openings in the equipment with foil or saran wrap, to discourage bugs and rodents from setting up shop inside the machine.
For battery-powered machines you won’t be using for awhile, be sure you fully charge the battery before placing it in storage. Cold weather can damage a partially charged battery. There is no need to find yourself having to replace a dead battery next spring, so long as you charge it and store it properly.
Gas-powered machines that still have some fuel in the tank will need a fuel stabilizer to protect the fuel system. Products like Seafoam will ensure that the dormant fuel won’t gum up the system over the winter.
Larger machines, such as tractors or riding mowers, should have their engines fogged to prevent corrosion. This process includes removing spark plugs, coating them with an oily mist, and then putting them back into place. Aerosol fogging sprays can be found at the hardware store, and utilizing them properly can effectively prevent moisture-based corrosion.
Taking Care of Your Sprinkler System
If you’ve got access to your irrigation system’s specifications, you can save money by blowing out the pipes yourself. The purpose of this task is to completely rid the entire system of any sitting water, in order to avoid bursting a pipe during the winter.
Using a compressor, along with some simple math, you can empty out your pipes without having to call a professional. If you don’t own a compressor, or have doubts about making accurate calculations, have no fear. Renting a 10-cfm (cubic feet per minute) compressor, with a hose, is a fairly safe bet.
The cfm measurement indicates the amount of water pressure needed to ensure all the moisture is blown out of your irrigation system. To save even more money, you could even go in on the rental with a neighbor, and knock the whole task out on a Saturday afternoon.
While winterizing your sprinkler system is a fairly reasonable DIY project, it does include several steps you want to do properly. Be sure to reach out to your local home repair store, or to a reputable lawn care service, to get proper guidance and instructions.
There are several steps you can take to winterize both your lawn and your tools. Taking a few basics steps can set up your landscape for a worry-free winter. Click here for a free estimate for help on your next landscaping project!