Well fall is officially here, and many people are looking forward to the leaves starting to change colors. For those of you with gardens or farms we know you will be busy harvesting your crops this month and we hope that your crops are bountiful.
If you were not able to complete any items on September’s checklist, we suggest getting them done as early as possible. Many exterior products like caulking and paint require anywhere from 24 to 72 hours of temperatures above 50 degrees to cure properly. As always, please stay safe; if you feel uncomfortable, do not understand how to complete a task, etc… please call in a professional.
- Change out your HVAC filter.
- Test your Smoke Detector
- On the exterior of your house, make sure all exposed water pipes are insulated or wrapped with heat tape. You will also want to drain & blow out faucets, hoses, and sprinkling systems.
- For those with crawl spaces, make sure any exposed water pipes are insulated & all entryways are blocked to prevent critters from taking up habitation and nesting in there. This also includes closing the vents or blocking with foam.
- For those with attics, make sure any exposed water pipes are insulated & all entryways are blocked to prevent critters from taking up habitation and nesting in there.
- Do a thorough cleaning of your patio furniture, barbeque grill, etc… and store them properly for next season.
- If you don’t have dual-pane, low-e windows, it is time to remove, clean, and repair the screens before you put them away and install your storm windows.
- For those of you in colder climates, time to make sure your winter tools are in good condition and ready to go.
Gardening & Grounds Checklist
- Enjoy your harvest
- You can plant garlic, shallots & other onions towards the end of the month (you want time for them to develop roots – but not for their tops to break the surface)
- Cultivate and mulch your garden to help prepare it for spring and to help control weeds
- Keep leaves raked to prevent smothering new grass – you might want to consider starting a compost pile for next years gardening.
- Mow your lawn on a lower setting, thatch your lawn with a steel rake, and aerate if required
- Planting / Flowering Beds
- You still have time to plant your spring bulbs
- Keep weeding & keeping the beds cleaned up
- Towards the end of the month – remove all the annuals & add them to your compost pile
- Cover the beds with a nice layer of mulch to help prevent weeds need spring
- Mulch trees and shrubs well, especially those that are considered tender or borderline for your zone.
- Clean, sharpen, oil, and store your tools and equipment in a dry location.
- Hire an arborist to remove dead and diseased branches on your trees so your home is not crunched during high winds or ice storms.
- If you are not pulling your planters inside, make sure you give them a good cleaning, let them dry out and store them away for next spring. Planters left out in the winter elements (especially terra cotta planters) will expand and contract with the changes in temperature and generally you will end up with nothing but cracked or broken planters that are unusable come spring.
- Consider harvesting seeds from your best vegetables, flowers, etc… for next year´s garden.
Other items to consider
- It is time for a major house cleaning while the weather is still relatively warm and eliminate one worry for those that have family coming in for the holiday’s.
- To help clear out all that dust and dirt that was tracked in during the summer, consider getting your carpets, upholstery, and ducts cleaned.
- It is time to store your summer bedding and replace it with flannel sheets, heating blankets, and / or thicker blankets.
- Before storing away your summer bedding, make sure you clean it properly and inspect it for damage. Old damaged towels and sheets make excellent rags.
- We recommend using those airtight bags where you can suck the air out to help save space and keep bugs from finding a nice area to enjoy the winter.
- While you are changing out your bedding, you should rotate your mattress and consider airing it out.
- It is also time to put away your summer clothes and replace it with your winter clothes.
- Before storing away your summer clothes, make sure you clean it properly and inspect it for damage or items wearing out.
- Consider donating clothes that are starting to wear out, kid’s clothes that will probably not fit come spring and all summer clothes that you did not wear this summer.
- It is time to toss all your spices, herbs, and yeast bought last year and replace. Most cooks only consider spices good for a period of 6 months, but we will simply go with a yearly replacement schedule
- Are you hosting a Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or any other special party? It is time to start planning it out, so your not rushed
- Check your linens, glassware, dishes and silverware – purchase or lock in a rental if you need more
- Place an advance order for your meat and other specialty items that you may require now
- If you’re into seasonal baking, stock up and buy your baking supplies: flour, sugar, and fresh baking soda