Outdoor Living

End-of-Summer Outdoor Checklist

September 2017

N1606P16006HAs the blue skies and warm temperatures of summer fade, there is some additional work to be done outdoors in preparation for the months ahead.

Plan your garden harvest. If you have a backyard garden, pick your tomatoes and other vegetables before the weather starts to get chilly. Herbs can be washed and frozen in zipper- top baggies so they can be used when cooking over the next several months. Boil tomatoes for sauce and freeze or jar them. Begin to clear out residual stems and plant debris from the garden.

 Purchase spring bulbs. Buy bulbs for spring-blooming flowers and map out where they will be planted for beautiful flowers next year. Wait until temperatures start to dip before planting the bulbs, otherwise they may begin to produce shoots prematurely, zapping the bulbs of energy.

Dig up and cure tender summer bulbs when foliage turns brown. Store in a cool, dry place. 4 Continue treating rose diseases and dispose of all debris. To ensure resistance to winter damage, allow the last flowers to set seeds (hips).

Ensure houseplants are pest-free before bringing them indoors.

 Divide spring-blooming perennials and plant new perennials.

 Clean patios and furniture. Scrub and hose down outdoor furniture, cushions and living areas. Clean and dry items before storing them for the winter, so everything is ready to go when the warm weather returns next year.

Tend to the deck and other repairs. Make repairs to outdoor structures now, and they’ll be more likely to survive the harsh weather that’s just over the horizon. Apply stain or sealant to further protect wood structures in advance of snow and ice.

Stock the shed. Once the weather has cooled down, move outdoor flower pots, hoses and lawn ornaments you no longer need into the shed or garage while ensuring items needed in fall and winter, such as rakes, snow shovels and snowblowers, are more accessible.

Examine the roof and chimney. Winter is a poor time to learn you have missing roof shingles or a leak. Furthermore, ensure the chimney and venting to the outdoors is not obstructed by abandoned animal nests.

Stock up on pool equipment. Take advantage of end-of-season sales to purchase a few more gallons of pool chlorine or other pool equipment. Store them after you have winterized the pool, and you will be ahead of the game in terms of supplies for next year.

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