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Fall Yard Maintenance Tips – Updated


Ohio Buckeye putting on a beautiful show

Prepare Your Yard For The Winter

As the nights are becoming cooler and daylight hours are decreasing you may have fall yard maintenance on your mind.  This signals a change in our trees, shrubs and gardens.  Leaves are turning – so beautiful – yellow, copper, red, orange.

While you are hunting for your winter boots, mitts and parkas, don’t forget to prepare your yard for winter.

Steps To Achieve A Happy & Healthy Yard

1- Clean Up Any Problems

Yard Sanitation should be a the top of your list.  Leaving infected leaves is a guarantee for an encore performance next year.  Avoid placing them in your compost bin.  Don’t stockpile diseased twigs or store disease or infested firewood in your yard.  You place both your trees and those in neighbouring yards at risk.

2- Water deeply before freeze up.


Blacknot Canker

4- Prune Your Trees In The Winter

Winter is a great time for pruning – inspect your trees and shrubs for irregularities that suggest you have infections.  By eliminating infectious materials in the winter – you pose the lowest risk of disease transfer.

Click for a guide to help you with your pruning.

5- Refresh Your Bark Mulch

Your fall yard maintenance should include a refresh of your bark mulch. Start by disturbing it and adding more to keep it at a depth of 2-3 inches (5-7 cm).  Ensure mulches (gravel or bark) are not in contact with the trunk of your tree – allow for about 2 inches of mulch free space to prevent trunk injuries and butt rot.

Apply a layer of leaf litter or mulch around tender perennials, vines and roses to insult the roots and to provide winter habitat for ladybugs.


Wire girdling stem

6- Remove Man-Made Items

Check for hooks, straps, ropes and other man-made items used to stabilize your tree or hang items such as feeders and garden ornaments. Look for plant labels and put them in file with receipts for warranty purposes. Remove or loosen to prevent girdling. Remove stakes and guy lines on trees 12-18 months after planting.

7- Divide And Conquer

Transplant and/or divide perennials Dead head flowers and remove seed heads to prevent unplanned propagation.  Save a few for planting next year in a paper envelope if you actually want them.  Don’t forget to label what is inside.

8- Fall Yard Maintenance Miscellaneous

  1. Make the final tour to check for weeds and eliminate them while the weather is pleasant and soil workable.

  2. Clean-out nests from bird houses and put out the bird feeders.

  3. Edge turf along walks and drive to make snow shovelling a breeze.

  4. Drain and put garden hoses indoors to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

  5. Protect veggies from frost or harvest and store indoors.

  6. Amend and till gardens.

  7. Plant Spring bulbs and garlic.

  8. Consider top dressing lawns and applying a fall fertilizer.

  9. Compost healthy leaves in open areas of veg and flower bed or in the garden. Shred them up first with your lawn mower and work them in for quicker results.

  10. Service your tools and equipment: clean to remove rust and dirt, sharpen cutting edges, sterilize, oil and store. You will be ready for spring.

These are but a few little things you can do to keep your landscape healthy and hardy and minimize your efforts in the Spring. Get outdoors and enjoy the fall colours and weather.

If you need some guidance or are unable to do your own fall yard maintenance, please contact us.



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