Be Fall Ready 2018

Posted on September 14, 2018

Summer is ending, Fall is right around the corner. September comes with our first frosts and is generally our last chance to do significant yard work. That's why it's important to be fall ready! It's good for the environment (this way we need fewer harsh treatments on our lawn/garden) and it saves us money, too! We have for you some yard and home tips, including some you might not have thought of before and others that are just good reminders!

1. Winterize your rain barrel – if you have a rain barrel (and why wouldn’t you!), it needs to be stored for the winter, as freeze and thaw can crack it, costing you a lot of money to replace in the spring, and creating unnecessary waste. Disconnect and empty your rain barrels, turn upside down so they can’t collect water, and put a rock on them so that the wind doesn’t gift them to your neighbour! You can learn how to winterize your rain barrel on our website.

2. Do an outside house check – this is a good time to check to make sure all your windows and doors are well sealed, checking for cracks or leaks, and repairing things while it’s easy! This is also a good time to check/clean your eaves so you don’t have dangerous ice buildup over the winter.

3. Aerate your lawn – whether you do it yourself or have a service help (we currently have a fundraiser going with MowSnowPros that you could take advantage of), providing oxygen to the microbes that call the soil in your yard home will give you a much richer growing experience in the spring!

4. Mulch your yard – while it's a good idea to clean out fallen debris from your yard, there's a lot of good nutrients there. Once you get rid of the bigger bits, like fallen sticks and branches, pull up troublesome perennials and dead annuals, leaving them as mulch, and run your lawn mower over dried leaves to help them break down and provide nutrients to your lawn. Dried leaves are also great additions to your backyard composter, so gathering and storing them in large paper bags can be a great advantage over the winter months, where you might struggle to add enough to your composter.

5. Fertilize your yard – add some natural compost to your soil where needed. If you don’t have your own compost, you can buy natural composts from farms and garden centres, as well as from Green Calgary's EcoStore. Making a compost tea, such as from worm castings, is one of the best ways of fertilizing, if you really want to take your yard care to the next level! 

6. Harvest your garden and preserve what you can’t eat – it should go without saying that you should do your last harvest in the fall, but this goes for things like crabapple trees as well! Even if you can’t use the harvest yourself, there are services in Calgary who are looking for that stuff for making cider, preserves, or just adding to compost. If you have a few too many veggies, consider giving some to a neighbour, a charity, or preserving them by making jams or pickling. Preserving your own food is a fun challenge and ensures that you’re not adding needless food waste to the waste stream!

7. Start vermicomposting before the spring – you can compost all winter of course, but that’s made easy with vermicomposting. Get yourself some worms of the composting variety (these can be a bit harder to find, but we can help) and keep them in a bin indoors. You can feed them most of your fruit and veggie scraps and harvest their beautiful castings in the spring to kickstart you garden! It’s actually pretty easy, and worm castings are one of the most sought after natural fertilizers!

Hopefully, you'll find some of these tips helpful! Feel free to reach out to us at our help desk or on social media to learn more about these and other fall-ready tips! You can find our help desk at the little blue chat symbol in the corner and you can find our social media on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

This article was originally published in our newsletter September 8th. Get articles like this early by signing up!