Well, I was busily attending to those essential fall yard & garden maintenance items, but I hit a few kinks in the proverbial hose. While attempting to clean the gutters and downspouts I discovered blockages. Blockages! A lovely build-up of leaves and roof gunk in the elbows of the downspouts. The search for a wire coat hanger to use for unplugging the downspouts proved fruitless. No wire coat hangers in my house! Does anyone else think of Joan Crawford when they hear ‘wire hangers‘ or is it just me? Sorry, a little off topic there. Long story short, my neighbor was kind enough to loan me a snake which I immediately put to work. Blockages gone!
I had thought the majority of my fall leaf raking was done. (Foolish girl!) Unfortunately, more leaves showed up and my plan to rake those extra leaves into the flower beds to act as winter insulation, mulch and compost wasn’t entirely doable. There were way more leaves than my garden beds could bear. After raking as much into the beds as possible, I still had enough to fill two large leaf bags. That made a total of 11 big bags of leaves to put at the curb for leaf pick up this coming Tuesday. Please Mr. Wind, can you blow in a different direction?!
Working through the other items on my list, I came up with a few other helpful reminders:
Draining the garden hose - if you have two or more hoses connected together, it’s easier to disconnect them and drain one at a time.
Draining the rain barrel - after the rain barrel is empty and capped, leave the spigot open.
Turning off outside water taps - sometimes the temperature at night goes down to the freezing point before you’ve finished using the garden hose for the season. If that’s the case where you live, it’s a good idea to keep the taps shut off and only turn them on when you actually need to use the hose. My outside taps have been turned off and turned on again no less than 3 times while I’ve been finishing up my fall chores. Today, they are finally turned off for the last time.
The gutters and downspouts are clean and free of leaves and blockages, my garden hose is drained, the rain barrel is empty and capped, and my outside water tap is shut off. There are only two items left on my fall to do list - garden tool cleaning and making protective frames for shrubs. The garden tools are lined up and waiting for their scrubbing and a treatment of mineral oil.
I’m off to Home Depot now to pick up the wood I need to make the protective shrub frames.