Fall Maintenance: A Checklist for Home & Garden

Crisp morning air, leaves bursting with red and golden hues, and the aroma of pumpkin spice steaming from your coffee mug—these are the undeniable signs that autumn has arrived. With the change of seasons upon us, it’s an important time to prepare your home and garden for the impending winter elements. 

Ready to get started? Here’s a helpful checklist to get your home and garden ready and protected for the cold season ahead: 


  • Clear all gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris. 
  • Schedule a furnace checkup. 
  • Remove screens and swap them out with storm windows and doors.
  • Weatherstrip all doors—including the garage!—and windows. 
  • Clear the dryer vent for improved efficiency.
  • Check expiration dates on fire extinguishers; test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Inspect for and caulk any exterior cracks or openings where air or water can seep into your home—hotspots include window and door frames, holes where wiring or water lines enter the structure, and any place where masonry meets siding. 
  • Reverse all ceiling fan motors to run in a clockwise direction, thereby circulating warm air through your rooms.
  • Own a snow blower? Complete a maintenance check and purchase fuel to keep on hand.

Lawn & Garden

  • Aerate and fertilize grassy areas.
  • Detach and drain hoses; store them in a protected place, such as the garage. 
  • Blow out irrigation lines (if available, an air compressor is a handy tool for this).
  • Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets.
  • Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch over garden beds and at the base of perennials.
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, allium, hyacinth, and crocus.
  • Spray an effective herbicide on perennial weeds.
  • Clean, sharpen, and store tools (garden shears, shovels, rakes, mower blades, etc.).
  • During dry spells, quench grasses and plants with deep watering.


Autumn, in all its beauty, is an awesome season. Spend some time enjoying the outdoors as you prep your home, lawn, and garden for the inclement weather ahead. Your efforts this fall will protect your home during the cold months and reward your senses when the ground thaws and plants begin poking through the earth in spring. Happy autumn!


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