With the new year just around the corner, the gardens are near the end of the growing season – and which means that you need to make a list, and we are sure that many to-do tasks are waiting to be completed. But of course, there are only a few handfuls who will deal with a breaking irrigation line or even downspouts that are clogging with dead leaves.

You know, there are things that you can do by yourself to avoid getting last-minute surprises during the onset of the new year.

Dealing with fallen leaves

Have a sea of fallen leaves on your pathway?

How about raking them off?

Consider raking dead leaves off your pathways and lawns, and if possible, you can also mow them into the grass. That said, you can also use the fallen dead leaves to decorate your exteriors.

You know, instead of throwing them in the green bin, you can consider spreading the fallen leaves either under trees or shrubs – in that way, they can decompose over the winter slowly, and which in turn, will add nutrients and organic matter back into the soil. But of course, do remember to keep the dead leaves away from the trunks.

Cleaning up the gutters

Have any gutters in the exteriors of your home?

It’s time to take note of them and consider cleaning any fallen leaves and debris if any. Should there be any case of repairing or even patching, you are advised to do that too. You are suggested to make use of a hose and run it down the downspouts to loosen up the fallen debris, and if any adjustments are required, it’s best to do that before any accidents happen.

Planning for frost

If you have any tender potted plants, then, it’s time to move them into greenhouses for the winter – however, if you don’t have any greenhouse, you can also move them to your home’s interiors, say, areas where sunlight is in abundance or other sheltered areas.

If, however, some tender plants are in the ground, you can make use of frost blankets, old blankets or even cloches to protect them as they will be susceptible to frost damage.

Have any cold frames lying around – make use of them; you can dust them, and consider positing them over the in-ground plants to keep the frost away.

Emptying the store containers

If you have any seasonal containers, then, it’s recommended to clear them ut – consider tossing out the annuals into the compost bin, and if possible, plant the perennials into the garden beds, if you don’t want to throw them away.

If you leave in cold areas, consider moving in all the ceramic and terra-cotta containers either into the garage or shed, or if possible, have them against your home, and cover them with a tarp – this will prevent them from cracking during the winters. Remember the less moisture they receive, the better off they will be.

Taking note of the safety issues outdoors

Take a few minutes, and go through your yard – take note of specific areas such as pathways to your front door.

Have you noticed anything hazardous that could pose a risk to guests or even elderly members, say, a wobbly railing or even a crack in the step? If yes, then, address the issue as earliest as possible. Also, don’t forget to take a look at the tree branches too – if they have died and are at risk of falling, cut them down and make the necessary adjustments before any accidents happen.

Cleaning the outdoor furniture

Say, if you have any furniture outdoors, first brush them off, and remove the cushions. You can either put them away for the season and plan to make use of them as a place for holiday frosting.

That said, however, if you plan to use your outdoor furniture through the winters, consider adding a source of heat and include in winter accessories such as blankets to drape over the laps.

Sanitizing the garden tools

Okay, so, you have decided to prune the trees after the holidays, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to sanitize them.

You may prune the trees later on, but the garden tools – they need to be sanitized now. To sanitize them, you can consider dipping the garden tools in a solution of water and bleach or water and rubbing alcohol – and after a few minutes, remove them from the solution, and allow them to dry fully. Remember, this step will help to prevent the spread of disease from plant to plant.

No matter what gardening tools you have, the method of cleaning them will be the same, however, before dipping in the solution, make sure to clean the tools of dirt first, and rubbing the wooden handles with furniture oil.

Winterizing the outdoor kitchens

If you leave in the cold regions, then, you mustn’t forget about the outdoor kitchens – if you have them, and plan to use them in the next spring, it’s best to winterize them to prevent any damage occurring to them.

If any water lines run to the outdoor kitchen, start with them – shut off the lines and even the ones that run to the outdoor fridge, sink and even the ice maker of any remaining water. It is recommended to also open the tap and drain the valves so that no water remains which can cause damage later, and then, covering them should any damage occur.

Don’t forget the grill too – clean it and cover it to prevent any damage happening to it

Shutting off the irrigation systems

If the winters are coming, then, it is advised to shut off the exterior water lines, and then, opening up the tap and drainage irrigation system lines to prevent any damage.

If irrigation lines run throughout the whole year, then, use the winter season as an excuse to check the system – it is recommended to run the system during the day, and observe if there are any issues with the sprinklers – if yes, then, do the necessary changes before the winters show up.

Prepping up your garden doesn’t have to be a hellish task – just follow the above steps before the new year comes, and you will be spruced up for the coming year with much aplomb and show – we assure you of that.

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