Top 5 Tips to Prepare for Winter During the Fall

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Make Winter Easier and Spring Bloom Faster

Note from the Editor: This particular post is sponsored by Sears, however all the views within the post are those of the author. Information on some Craftsman Products has been provided by representatives of Sears and Crafsman.

Just because the leaves are falling and the grass has stopped growing, does NOT mean it’s time to stop thinking about your yard or outdoor living spaces. In fact, Fall is the best time to get some maintenance and clean-up done that will mean your spring chores easier than ever. So before you put away those lawn and garden tools, take a look at Tool Skool’s Top 5 Tips to Prepare for Winter During the Fall.  (And for a complete list of Craftsman Seasonal Products: CLICK HERE)

5 Tips for Fall Clean Up

Tip #1: Get Rid of the Leaves

If you want to have nice grass in the spring, it’s time to get rid of the leaves in the fall. And that’s true for your patio or deck as well. Leaving fallen leaves on them can make surfaces slick when snowy or icy weather comes, and the leaves can also break down and discolor wood on your deck, or the surface of your patio. Start with a leaf blower to round them all up and then either bag them or shred them.

Craftsman Blower 1

Leaf Blower

Personally, I like to shred them into a fine mulch so that they can actually be used to fertilize the grass as they break down.   Or you can mix the shredded material into mulch to add around the base of your plants.

Craftsman 5 Tips for Fall Cleanup

Craftsman 190cc 4-N-1 Plus Chipper/Shredder Yard Vacuum for chopping leaves to a fine mulch.

Tip #2: Cut plants back and Add a Layer of Mulch

Every year, I promise myself I’m going to do this, and I eventually get around to it, but it makes it so easier if I just do it at the same time as I am getting rid of the leaves. Be familiar with what types of plants you have, but, in the fall, you can remove annuals, and cut most perennials most of the way to the ground, if not all the way. This does not include roses or shrubs, but perennials like coneflowers, daylily, clematis, peonies, and sunflowers do best if cut all the way to the ground. Then cover the plants with mulch to get them ready for the winter. For plants, such as roses, you only want to prune them, but then still add extra mulch around the roots to help them survive cold temperatures.

Craftsman 5 Tips for Fall Clean Up

Add mulch to beds for protection for perennials throughout the winter

Tip #3: Either Cover Patio Furniture or Store Indoors

Cleaning of the outdoor living areas is not fun, but it’s the best thing to do for the upcoming winter months. You may think you’ll get back out there on that warm day, but in all likelihood, you won’t. I learned the hard way that leaving good cushions on furniture in the winter months causes a lengthy clean-up come spring at best. The sap and the dirt seems to bury it’s way into the fiber of the fabric and it takes a lot of effort to get back to where you actually want to sit on the furniture again. I actually had to replace some cushions because they were so damaged from the harsh winter weather when left out one season. Remove or cover furniture, and take pots for plants or anything that might crack or break inside. You’ll thank me in the spring.

Cover Furniture or Store Inside

Cover Furniture or Store Inside

Tip #4: Clean Up the Other Debris in the Yard

Now is the time to pick up the limbs that have fallen, or cut down the limbs that look like they are knocking on death’s door. You’ll need wood for your fireplace anyway, so cut them down, and chop them up.

Craftsman 5 Tips for Fall Clean Up

Craftsman 208cc 27-Ton Log Splitter

You’ll get much better use from them and they won’t be in your way when it’s time for that first nice day of spring.

Craftsman 5 Tips for Fall Cleanup

Chain Saw

Tip #5: Clean and Store Your Tools

Before you completely finish your to-do list, winterize your mower and make sure your tools are clean before you put them away. Hand tools can but put into buckets of sand, which keeps them dry and rust free. You should empty any gas from your mowers, clean the blades and make sure they are dry and ready to go. This is also a good time to change the oil and replace any filters. Same for the chain saw you used to make easy work of chopping up the limbs.

Tune up your mower with the Craftsman Tune Up Kit.

Tune up your mower with the Craftsman Tune Up Kit.

If you take these 5 simple steps, you will have a yard and outdoor living area ready to withstand the winter. You’ll also have an easier time getting ready to spring.


If you live in an area that sees lots of snow, and you don’t already have one, you might want to invest in a Snow Blower, like the Craftsman Pro Series Snow Blower now.  When the snow hits, they are hard to come by, so you don’t want to be left in the cold.  Read more about Craftsman Snow Blowers here.

Craftsman Snow Thrower

Craftsman Pro Series 28″ 357cc Three Stage Snowthrower w/ Power Steering

If you have any fall maintenance tips that you’d like to share, be sure to join the Craftsman Club. That’s the place you can go to find tips, leave tips, find inspirational projects, and join a community of doers just like you!  And for a complete list of Craftsman Seasonal Products: CLICK HERE

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Beth Knott

Managing Editor at Tool Skool
Beth is the Managing Editor of Tool Skool, as well as a contributing reviewer. She has a long history with tools: as co-Producer of DIY Tools & Techniques, she oversaw the production of more than 200 episodes. An avid DIYer, she puts her tool collection to good use.

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