Fall Cleanup and Winter Preparation

Winter will be here quicker than you can say, “Fa lala lala lala la la…la.”  It’s time to get your property ready before Mother Nature lays down that first blanket of snow.


Why clean up in the fall only to have to do it again in the spring?

There are many reasons.  First, it’s unsightly.  Sure, the leaves are lovely colors, but their beauty fades quickly and you’re left with a big, brown mass of ugly debris.  Included in it is trash, sticks, and who knows what else.  All of this mess also covers walkways, parking lots, and items that can become tripping hazards.  

It’s also terrible for your lawn.  While a small amount of organic matter can provide essential nutrients that will build a strong, healthy lawn, a thick cover of leaves and debris can block out essential sunlight and water collects on the leaves instead of making it’s way to your turf’s roots where it’s needed.  Leaves also trap moisture that is already in your lawn, making a perfect breeding ground for mold and other types of fungus as well as diseases.  

Fall is the best time for fertilizing, aeration, and seeding, and by having leaves left on your lawn, you’re not only wasting your treatments, the leaves, which contain acid, can damage your grass.

By having a fall cleanup done, preparing your landscape for spring treatments and plantings will be much quicker and easier.

Is Fall Cleanup just raking leaves?

No.  Of course, the majority of our fall cleanup program consists of clearing leaves and other debris.  We use mulching blades in addition to a leaf sucker for larger piles.  We also make sure all walkways and parking lots are cleared and safe.  We use blowers to clear any debris, branches, and dead leaves in your plant beds, leaving them looking as fresh and clean as they did all summer.  


When should fall cleanup be done?

There isn’t a definitive answer to this.  Many factors go into determining when it should be done and how long it will take.  In an ideal world, your trees will drop all their leaves during the same week in October and we can clean them and be done with it.  Unfortunately, trees aren’t that cooperative.  Some shed them early, while others hold onto their leaves like Ebenezer Scrooge holds onto his money and don’t drop their leaves until winter.  Weather is also an important influence as later or earlier cold temperatures can throw your trees’ internal “schedules” out of whack, and high winds or heavy rains can take leaves down early.  

Our maintenance program lasts for as long as it takes to clear up anything that falls.  It typically begins in October and, depending on conditions, can extend well into the winter months.


What else can be done to get ready for winter?

Once your property is clean, we can winterize it.  Fall is an optimal time to apply a 65% slow-release granular fertilizer.  Fertilizing your lawn in the cool fall months gives your lawn much-needed nutrients to survive the harsh cold.  Your lawn may slow and stop its growth above ground, but below ground, its roots continue to grow and fertilizing will give it the food it needs to do so.  Because blade growth is stopped, your grass can concentrate on growing strong, healthy roots.

Fall is also the perfect time for spot weed control.  Just like squirrels store acorns away for the long winter, weeds take food from their leaves and transport it to their roots for winter sustenance.  This becomes true for the herbicide too and instead of merely killing the leaves of the weed, it will be readily absorbed and make its way all the way down to the root to kill it.  

Checking your soil’s pH level is recommended in the fall.  Our trained technicians can take samples and check the pH level of your soil and prepare a lime treatment to restore its balance.  Decomposition of grass clippings and other organic matter can cause higher acidity levels in your soil which not only makes it more difficult for your lawn to absorb moisture, it also causes bacteria and organisms that are beneficial to your lawn die off.  By applying lime in the fall, your soil has all winter long to absorb it.

Because of mild temperatures and an abundance of rain, fall is the perfect time to overseed your lawn to give it a boost so that when spring arrives, you’ll have a nice thick carpet of green with strong roots.  Aerating at this time will not only give the grass seed room to germinate, but your other applications will be absorbed easier if your soil is not compacted.  


With a thorough fall cleanup and strategic winterizing applications, your property will be ready to spring forth when spring arrives!  Call Bluegrass Landscaping and Maintenance at (314) 770-2828 to schedule your fall cleanup and winterizing today!