Fall Clean-up.

September 11, 2020

The smell of fall is in the air. The mornings are cooler, the days are shorter and pumpkin spice flavoured drinks are popping up everywhere! For most of us, our perennials are done for the season and we might have a couple wave petunias hanging on but soon our annual flowerpots will be pulled too.

In Saskatchewan, the middle of September is the perfect time to start your fall clean up and begin thinking about prepping your yard for winter. We’ve compiled a list of ‘to-do’s’ to get you started. And if you need a hand this year, we’ve included local businesses that can help you out. We might not be experts on everything, but they are!

1. Clean up the veggie garden

After the final harvest of veggies and herbs it’s time to pull out the old vegetable plants. These plants, along with any debris can be added as a layer of compost.

Final harvest of veggies in the garden

2. Rake leaves and clean up other debris

If you live in a neighborhood with many large trees, raking is not a one-day job. I like to tackle it at the halfway point and then again when all the leaves have dropped. Fallen leaves are a good place for insects and mold to settle so it’s important to clear out flower beds while you’re raking your lawn. Many landscaping companies offer yard cleanup as a service.

Cleaning out debris from eavestroughs is also very important. Not all falling leaves hit the ground and getting a backlog of them will interfere with spring drainage. If you need help with this job, there are many local companies out there to help.

3. Plant new trees

Believe it or not, fall is a good time to plant new trees, as long as there is no risk of frost. According to the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources, since the weather is cooler, the part of the tree that is above the ground is under less stress than in warmer seasons. As well, the ground is still relatively warm so the tree can put energy into root production.

Planting a tree

4. Tree banding

It is important to band elms, Manitoba maples and fruit trees each spring and fall. This will reduce the number of cankerworms that nest in your trees. According to the City of Regina, the following steps should be followed to band your trees:

  • Purchase fiberglass insulation (15 to 20 cm wide), plastic wrap or black garbage bags, duct tape and some type of sticky substance (axle grease, Tanglefoot, Stick-em)
  • Wrap a strip of fiberglass insulation around the trunk about 1 to 2 metres above the ground.
  • Cover the insulation with plastic and secure with duct tape.
  • Cover the plastic with your sticking agent.
  • Regularly re-apply your sticking agent and remove debris to ensure effectiveness.
  • Remove your band after mid-May and again in mid-November to keep your tree bark in good shape.
  • Save the insulation for the next banding season.

5. Blow out sprinklers

Start checking overnight temps in mid-September. A stretch of nights with temps below zero and your underground sprinklers could freeze. On our bay we make it a fun afternoon and pull the air compressor around on a wagon from house to house, catching up with neighbours along the way. If you would like to hire this task out there are many yard care companies out there to contact.

Ensuring your yard is fall ready will make life easier in the spring. If you need help with any yard services a quick search on Mysask411 will provide you with a long list of local businesses who would love to help. Although the heat of summer is gone, enjoy these last days before the snow arrives!

-Sarah Elchuk is the Content Manager on the Brand and Platform Team.