What Is A Fall Cleanup? Do I Need One?


But… where did all my green go?

As summer begins to wind down, we start seeing reminders that fall is on its way in:  The kids go back to school, the nights get cooler, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, and we start breaking out the hooded sweatshirts.

Fall also means leaves.

All summer long they give us shade from the sun if we forget our sunscreen, and shelter from the rain if we forget our umbrella. However, once Fall gets here they give us a lot of work (sometimes back-breaking).  Every year its the same thing: rake up all the leaves, toss them in bags, and try to think of something useful to do with them if we don’t forget about them entirely.

So What Are Your Options?

1)Don’t do a darn thing.  Just leave them there and forget about it until spring.

2) Find some way to clean up those leaves.

(One of these options will create a lot of extra work for you later, the other will not.)

Lets take a look at option #1: Do nothing.

This is super easy. The leaves come down, and they stay there.  All winter.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Not exactly.  The downside of this is that leaves (like all organic material) rot.  Over the course of the Winter and early Spring, the leaves will break down and decompose all over the grass you worked so hard to grow all summer.  When you combine the rot with moisture from the melting snow, you are likely to get fungus and all sorts of other nasty things growing by the time you start thinking about getting the lawn mower out (read more about this HERE).  PLUS, you will likely be raking them up in the spring anyway, but the damage has already been done.  Rotten leaves change the PH of your soil, making it difficult to grow grass.  This often results in patchy, thin grass come spring.

Also getting skipped: the perennial cutbacks we also do during Fall Clean-ups.  Neglecting this means your plants will be working twice as hard to come back in the spring, which will result in a struggle to keep everything looking its best.


Option #2: Have a Fall Cleanup done.

This is also super easy.  Once all the leaves are down, we come by with several backpack mounted leaf-blowers and a mower.  We set about getting the vast majority of your fallen leaves into a pile and eventually loaded up into our truck.  While all this is happening, one of our horticulturists goes around and does all your perennial cutbacks.  We then take everything away, leaving your yard almost entirely leaf-free and mowed!   No leaves left behind means no rotten soggy mess to clean up come Springtime, and a healthier lawn for the following growing-season.  Not to mention that most cleanups take an hour or less.

Plus, the perennial cutbacks give your plants a running start come springtime and they will have a much better shot at looking their absolute best for the coming season.

All in all, you can either skip the Fall Clean-up, and end up doing a ton of work cleaning up the mess in the springtime (soggy rotten leaves smell awful, by the way) OR you can do yourself a favor and get a Fall Clean-up, which will make your spring cleaning a snap.  No rotten leaves, no nasty fungus, just a fresh clean lawn ready for spring.


Still Need Convincing?

Your typical Fall Cleanup usually takes about an hour.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  A yard cleaned-up in the fall should have a minimal Spring Clean-up because most of the work was done the previous fall.

If you skip the clean-up in the fall, you could see a monstrous project in the spring.  Skipping the cleanup in the fall doesn’t mean that your spring cleanup will be twice as long, it means it could be 3-4 times as long.  Easy cleanup in the fall means an even easier cleanup in the spring.  No cleanup in the fall means a MASSIVE cleanup in the spring.  Dry, freshly-fallen leaves are a lot easier to clean-up than soggy rotten leafy-globs.  Doing all the work during the spring time will make everything harder, and cost you more time, energy, and money.


Happy Gardening!