Be prepared! Start winter outdoor prep now

The season of mowing, watering, and weeding is almost over, and fall will be here before you know it. Is your outdoor space ready? Use this handy checklist to make sure all your bases are covered.

1. Check for dead tree branches.
Look around for any dead or dying tree branches that may be lurking. Heavy snowfall could cause them to fall this winter. Always call IMU to trim any branches that are close to your powerlines.

2. Remove unwanted trees and other plants.
Do you have trees or plants in your yard you don’t want next year? Fall is the perfect time to remove them. Doing so will give you a jump start on any spring planting, as well as giving the soil a chance to rejuvenate.

3. Mulch your garden beds.
Mulching beds is great for water retention, and can improve the health of your soil for next year. Not sure what to use? Freshly raked leaves are a great option. Leaves are cost effective, and they will decompose during the winter months, leaving behind great nutrients for your soil.

TIP: Grab a bagging attachment for your lawnmower and skip raking. The mower will do the work for you, and all you have to do is spread the leaves.

4. Stock up on firewood.
If you’re planning to use your indoor fireplace or wood stove this winter, now is the time to stock up on firewood. It’s always nice to have on hand as we head into the cooler months, plus it will be cheaper to buy - and possibly easier to find - before the snow flies.

5. Put away hoses and sprinklers.
Water systems can freeze in the winter cold, leading to damaged hoses, plastic parts, and metal components. Drain and wind up your hoses and place them in the garage, and remove your sprinklers and any spigot adapters. If you have an irrigation system, now is the time to have it serviced. Doing so will prolong the life of your system.

6. Organize sheds and garages.
When you’ve mowed for the final time, move the mower to the back of the shed and pull your snow removal tools to the front. Nothing is worse than trying to dig out the snowblower after the first storm.

7. Service your snow removal equipment.
Beat the rush by scheduling your service now. With service waiting times already longer than usual, it makes more sense than ever to be prepared in advance.

8. Clean gutters with a power washer or hose.
Take advantage of the still-warm temperatures to clean out your gutters with a power washer or garden hose. It’s quicker and less hassle than cleaning by hand. This will ensure that rain and melting snow flow away from your house, rather draining into your foundation.