This is the time of year when homeowners pull into their driveways and begin making a mental to-do-list for preparing their property for the impending winter season.
With everything else you have to worry about as the last three months of 2019 draw to a close, SavATree has compiled a Fall Property Checklist to help.
- Cover and store patio furniture, grills and other outside décor items in order to help protect them from the elements.
- This is a good time to divide perennial plants which have grown too large for your space and plant them elsewhere.
- Make sure storm drains point away from the house to prevent ice build up during melting and freezing.
- Contact SavATree to schedule your dormant tree pruning service.
- Ceramic and clay flower planters should be moved indoors as the expansion and contraction of soil can cause irreparable damage in the form of cracking.
- Drain garden hoses and store them inside to prevent damage.
- Turn outdoor water faucets off inside your home – leave the outside open in order for excess water to drain.
- Contact SavATree to schedule your fall/winter lawn fertilization.
- Blow out your automatic sprinkler systems to remove water from the lines. Remember to leave backflow preventers and zone connectors open to allow any residual water to drain out to prevent damage. Wrap your backflow preventer in a thick blanket or comforter and then cover and tape closed with a plastic bag and duct tape to further insulate.
- Inspect outdoor lighting for dead bulbs and dirty lenses. A well-lit property prevents slips and falls on icy surfaces.
Protecting the pollinators in the fall and winter
Justin Wheeler of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation says, “Insect pollinators spend the winter in a variety of life stages (egg, larva, pupa, or adult) depending on the species. For example, native bees will have spent their lives in your garden drinking nectar, collecting pollen, and building their nests amongst your fruits and flowers. After hatching, the “new” bees will spend the winter in their nest cells as pupae, emerging as adults the following spring or summer.”
Here are some fall clean up do’s and don’ts when it comes to pollinators:
- Don’t cut standing plants such as canes or stalks which could very well be housing nesting bees over the winter months.
- New bumble bee queens often emerge in the fall and burrow into fallen leaf debris for protection during the winter. If cleaning up leaves is required in your community, don’t bag them and send them to landfills. Instead, cover garden beds with a thick layer providing protection from the cold in winter (it’s also great compost in the spring). Add twigs and branches to create a safe haven for nesting pollinators.
- Do not till your soil until the spring, thus avoiding disturbing any nesting insects. Squash bees for instance, will nest six to eight inches below the grounds surface.
The last three months of the year are often filled with busyness around the home. Let SavATree help with our Fall Property Checklist.