Now is the time to get your homestead cleaned up and ready for winter and Spring! Prepping for winter is an important part of rural life. No one really wants to think about the cold and snow coming in, but whether we think about it or not, it’s coming! It’s important to prep your home and gardens now with our handy fall cleaning checklist for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the next few months.
Fall Cleaning Checklist:
- Rake Leaves
- Remove dead foliage from the gardens
- Mulch the gardens
- Prune and cover shrubbery
- Bring in outdoor furniture and lawn decorations
- Remove debris from the pond
- Start a compost pile
- Disconnect, drain, and winterize hoses, sprinklers, and other water tools
- Close and winterize the swimming pool
- Locate and survey holiday decorations for damage so there are no surprises later
Fall Cleaning Tips:
- Have a plan. Don’t just wake up and decide that today’s the day to prepare your farm for winter. Make a checklist (see above), decide which order you’ll do it in, and mentally and physically prepare yourself for the job. Some people might find that it’s easier to get it all done in one day while others will choose to spread the chores out over a few days.
- Watch TV! (I’m just checking to see if you’re paying attention.) However, it’s important to keep on eye on the weather, and you should catch the forecast before you choose a date. Fall cleanup is a big job. You’ll definitely want weather conditions to be favorable.
- Enlist help! Especially if you’ve got a lot of land, prepping your property for winter is a lot of work! Here’s the time to ask your kids (remind them that Santa is coming soon!), barter favors with the neighbors, and maybe even put up a flyer at your local high school to hire a strong teen that needs a little extra spending cash. Many hands make for light work.
- Be prepared. Gather all your tools and supplies ahead of time so that you don’t find yourself running to the store to grab things you’ve run out of. I could easily make an entirely different checklist of tools you’ll need, but the basics are work gloves, garbage or leaf bags, garden tools, and a cart to haul things around with. It’s important to have the right tools for the job. You’ll save yourself time, frustration, and sore and aching muscles.
The Simplay Easy Haul Flat Bed Cart has been a real back-saver for me this year. I’ve used it for everything from mulching to carting pumpkins around the yard. The generously-sized 31x 47-inch deck holds a LOT of stuff. Up to two hundred pounds worth, as a matter of fact! Considering that the cart only weighs just over 21 lbs, that’s a really nice feature.
The cart is made of a durable plastic, so it won’t rust and is easy to clean up and store. Simply hose it down, dry it off, and you could even bring it into the house for the winter. The wheels are also made of durable plastic, which means no flat tires in the Spring. (Yay!) The wheels also make it easy to pull the cart over bumpy yard surfaces. If you’ve ever dumped a wheelbarrow because you ran over a shallow tree root, you’ll definitely appreciate that part!
The 33-inch handle is long enough to maneuver this little cart anywhere I want to, but not so long that it gets in the way. It’s also got a quick-release mechanism, making the cart easy to store when you’re finished with it.
While there are probably a million things you’d rather do than rake leaves this weekend, the little bit of work you do now will prep your garden, pond, and other landscaping for a successful growing season next year. It may seem far away now, but Spring is closer than you think!