Most of the leaves have fallen and been raked into piles;winterizea
but that’s not quite the end of your outdoor “to do” list.

Once all of the leaves in your area have dropped, do yourself a favor and clean out the gutters.  Gutters and downspouts direct rainwater away from your house; but if they’re clogged with leaves and/or other debris, they won’t work properly, resulting in damaging ice dams once the temperature drops below freezing.

In a previous blog, we touched on fall fertilizing (  Again, if you haven’t spread a lawn fertilizer yet, there’s still time.  This is a critical application which prepares grass roots for the long, cold winter ahead and ensures nutrients will be available to them in spring, when growth resumes.

As far as the mower goes, some will advise that gasoline should not be left in your lawn equipment for more than two months.  Before you stow away the mower and other gas-powered equipment for the winter, run the engine until it’s out of gas.  However, there’s another school of thought – others advocate adding stabilizer to a mower’s fuel tank, briefly running the mower, and then putting it away for the season.   It’s really a personal preference.  Now’s also a good time to sharpen the blade so it’s all ready for the first spring-time mow!

Don’t forget to drain and store garden hoses and protect outdoor faucets from freezing weather.  If you know you won’t be using the outdoor spigot until spring; shut off its water supply if that is an option.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Christmas tree!  If you plan to plant the tree after the holidays, save yourself some work by digging the hole now while the soil is workable.  Make the hole twice as wide as the root ball will be.  Then, fill the hole with mulch and protect the soil with a tarp. And another fun holiday tip…be on the lookout for berry-covered branches for use in indoor decorating.