When summer winds down, there are a lot of things to get together. You might want to squeeze in one last vacation or at least a weekend away. Maybe you’ll be busy buying school supplies. You might be looking forward to the cooler weather. But even for those who love autumn, the yard work that comes with it can be overwhelming.
Before the seasons change and you’re confronted with raking leaves, prepping your garden, and other chores, it’s a good idea to make sure you have all your tools in place. Is there anything you’re missing? Anything that’s due for a replacement this year? You might even find better deals while they’re still out of season!
Essential Tools for Cleaning Up Your Yard
Let’s have a look at what you should have in your shed before the leaves turn and begin to float to the ground.
Yes, we’re going to go ahead and say a leaf blower is a necessity. It’s the 21st century after all, and you don’t need to suffer through raking everything up. If you have a yard of any decent size at all, a leaf blower is an investment that will pay for itself.
A leaf blower makes it easy to gather all your leaves up into a pile for quick pickup and removal. All you need to do is aim and blow! You can get different strength blowers depending on your needs.
They are also available in gas, battery, or corded models. With a smaller yard, a corded blower can work fine, but you’ll need the freedom of a battery or gas-operated one for bigger spaces. And of course, it’s a lot faster to refill a gas tank than recharge a battery!
Of course, depending on how heavily leaves fall in your yard, you may be able to mow them into mulch with your lawnmower, too.
Even if you’re going with the power tools to gather up the leaves, it’s still a good idea to have a leaf rake on hand.
There are always areas that you might find it easier to reach into with a rake to pull things out – after all, unless your blower has a vacuum function, it’s only going to push things away from you. Also, raking is almost like giving a massage to your lawn. Ok, that might be too far, but it does help break up clumps of grass clippings and thatch that have formed.
An old-fashioned, heavy-duty push broom is another important tool for yard work. It will be a huge aid for helping clean out gutters, sweeping up dirt and other things that a rake can’t handle, and gathering up the last remnants of leaves on driveways, steps, and sidewalks.
A lighter broom is great to have, too. Use it for knocking down cobwebs around doors and windows. It can help sweep dirt off wooden or metal surfaces as well.
Now that you’re gathering up all the leaves, twigs, and dirt, you need someplace to get rid of them. A compost pile is one idea, but sometimes you don’t have that option or you have too much to dispose of.
Large leaf bags – preferably biodegradable ones – will help you get everything tidied away nicely. The good ones hold up to the twigs you shove in and all the cramming of more leaves you can handle.
A wheelbarrow can serve a couple purposes while cleaning up your lawn this fall.
Taking leaves to your compost pile after raking them up? Here’s your perfect vehicle for transporting them.
Need to patch holes in the soil, move or replace rocks, add gravel anywhere? This will get it where you need it.
Taking down larger branches or entire trees? Cut it up into logs into toss them into the wheelbarrow!
And of course, you’ll be moving your tools all over the yard, too. Toss them in, lift the handles, and start moving.
Saw, Pruners, and Hedge Trimmers
We mentioned above that you might be trimming back trees or bushes as you go about your fall cleanup. And to do that, you’re going to need the right tools for the job.
Saws, pruners, and hedge trimmers all come in powered or manually versions. Make sure you have the tools on hand for the jobs you’re going to need to get done.
Anything from a small hand saw to a monster chainsaw may be needed to help you get your work done. Just be sure to observe all safety precautions to avoid damage to yourself or others or to your property.
Smaller plants call for smaller tools, but fall is a good time to trim back many shrubs and hedges as well as woody plants. However, that can vary widely by the type of flora you’re dealing with – some do better when trimmed during other seasons. Be sure to research your particular plants before starting to trim them!
Lawn Aerator and Dethatching Rake
Fall is the perfect time for dethatching and aerating your lawn, too. These two processes will help make sure your grass comes back healthy next spring.
A lawn aerator helps break up the soil so moisture and nutrients can more easily penetrate to the roots of your grass. Soil becomes compressed over time, keeping out needed resources. Regular aeration helps to overcome this.
A dethatching rake is something you may not need too often, but it can still be helpful to have. Thatch forms from leftover grass clippings and can block water and nutrients from even reaching the soil. This special rake tears right through it and reopens those vital routes to the roots!
A pressure washer is one of those awesome tools that has so many possible uses. It’ll definitely come in handy when getting your yard ready for winter.
Use it to wash down all your doors and windows, getting into corners that your other tools just can’t manage. It’ll save some elbow grease, too, because the pressurized water will remove smudges and marks that otherwise would take a lot of effort to clean out.
A pressure washer is also great for cleaning out the gutters. Of course, use a lot of caution when doing this yourself! But it’s important to be sure the gutter allows water to run freely. This tool will help push debris right out. This will help prevent ice from forming in the gutter during winter, too.
With all the cleaning, cutting, and declogging you’ll be doing, it’s a good idea to have a ladder on hand. The type of ladder you need is going to depend on what exactly you need to do, of course.
Anytime you’re going to be climbing, be sure to exercise the utmost caution. Be sure your ladder is in good condition. Plant its feet firmly, and use a spotter when needed. Always pay attention to the safety instructions, too.
These are just a few of the most essential tools you’ll need to give your yard a complete fall cleanup. That’ll add to the beauty of your home and help your lawn stay healthy over the winter. Having the right tools always makes things go easier, so start checking earlier so you can have them when you need them!