Essential Chores to help you say Goodbye to Summer & Hello to an Autumn-Ready Home and Garden
Now that we have left the summer behind and recovered from frantic Back to School season, it’s the perfect time for getting our home (and especially our gardens), ready for the colder months ahead.
Use our helpful checklist of jobs and minor DIY maintenance tasks to help you through the seasons.
With the kids in school and the weather staying relatively dry in the early autumn, it’s the perfect time to get outside the house to handle these essential jobs.
Remove The Dead Debris
It goes without saying... a lot of perennials and summer vegetation will require something of a clear-out from your front and back gardens.
- Raking the leaves will soon be an everyday occurrence so be sure to relocate your leaf blower and rake. Dust them off, fix, recharge or acquire some in good time.
- Get rid of as many weeds this month you can - you do not want the mature weed seeds to embed in your garden and return more virulent in the spring.
- It’s also a good habit to check guttering and external drains regularly this season for a build-up of excess leaves and soil or sediment. Do it now before the late autumn rains and winter storms arrive! Trapped rainwater could freeze and expand in place, causing damage.
Prune and Mow Back 1 Last Time
- Prune back creeping vines now as they start to shed whilst also ensuring they don’t grow into the guttering, cracks and drains as well.
- Do a final trim of the hedging and mow your lawn for the final time.
Pest Control As You Clean
Keep an eye out for pest control opportunities as you start clearing away the underbrush. Check your guttering, nooks and crannies for a build-up of insect nests that may come to haunt you in winter.
Larger pests are best left to the professionals. Seal up any holes, burrows or gaps in your outdoor space that they’ve been leaving behind.
Autumn is the time for harvest and if you have a small patch that’s been yielding an abundance of late fruit, herbs and veg, there are ways you can seal in the freshness and store them away.
- Freeze what you can for roasting later - this includes tomatoes, gourds and root vegetables.
- Why not make pickles with leftover onions, cabbage and peppers?
- You can also freeze herbs or puree them into a variety of pestos for use during the coming weeks - handy for the last-minute pasta.
- Excess ripened fruit can be pickled, dried or turned into jams. Also perfect for those neighbourly gift baskets.
- Don’t forget to harvest the seed from dried seed pods as you watch the final perennial flowers mature. This means you may want to avoid dead-heading the final round of blossoms to let them develop.
Wood And Kindling
Soon you’ll have every excuse to vent all your frustrations and get the workout you need with an axe or trusty chainsaw.
- If you’re pruning small branches from shrubbery and overgrown trees, be sure to stow them away in a dry location to recycle them as kindling.
- Larger branches can be sawn off with a small chainsaw and sliced into manageable logs for the fireplace.
- Keep an eye out for dead, damaged, or diseased wood that looks unsafe in stormy weather and remove them.
Pack Away The Summer Equipment
This is also a good time for cleaning, dismantling and storing away outdoor equipment that may not be necessary for the winter months
- Be sure to drain the lawnmower before packing away for winter under a water-resistant cover
- You may still use the BBQ into the early Autumn but be sure to get the cover ready and stow it away somewhere dry.
- Have you got garden furniture? Source or unearth the relevant rainproof covers to protect them.
Weather - Proof
It is also the right time to start weatherproofing your home or repairing the exteriors to prevent the onset of damp or leakage of heat. It could definitely save you a few euros in heating bills too.
Stop The Draught
Weatherproof your front door in the following ways:
- Invest in draught excluders - these prevent draughts from entering the home through gaps beneath the front or back doors. They’re made up of a row of bristles that cover the air gap but still allow your door to move freely without too much friction.
- Do the same with your letterbox with mini letterbox draught excluders that also contain bristles.
- Ensure all the door fittings are checked and tightened into place so they continue to fit properly and that nothing is loose or broken. This includes doorknobs, latches, and especially locksets and hinges.
- A weatherstrip inserted along the bottom or around the whole door frame will also help you minimise heat loss, draughts and help you prevent rainwater leaks.
Rain-Proof Repairs Happen Now
It is a good time to check your exterior walls and roofing for gaps and broken sections requiring repair.
- Look up and locate loose or missing roof tiles that need to be replaced.
- If you have a conservatory, replacing broken glass panes would be advisable now.
- This includes checking your shed roof to ensure gaps or tears are also repaired so that your equipment stays dry.
- Do not attempt complicated roof repairs if you are in any way unsure or do not have the right equipment as you may need a trained professional for this.
- Check your chimney pots for damage, bird’s nests or missing parts and elements. Why not call the chimney sweep?
- Check your aerial to make sure they are securely attached before the winds get too nasty.
- Look at your garden and house walls for cracks that need to be filled, loose brick or pointing. Smaller cracks and gaps can be repaired with the right filler.
- Check your wooden window or door frames for rotting wood and take steps to either replace or repair the wooden segments.
- Any worrying structural issues should be checked by a professional now so you can move fast in time for winter.
- Once you are happy with the structural integrity of your walls, you are ready to repaint especially where there has been a buildup of mould. A good quality masonry paint will help your walls withstand all weather conditions and also retain their colour.
- Smaller rotten sections can be chiseled out to where the sound timber is. You will then require appropriate filler for the cavity. Protect it further once dry by sanding, repainting or varnishing it
- More elaborate fixes will require consultation with your window supplier for spare parts or specialised repairs.
- Scrub off accumulated mould and revarnish any wooden decking or frames/fences
Get Your Home Ready For Autumn with These Items:
- Garden Shears
- Garden Gloves
- Leaf Blower
- Garden furniture covers
- Tarpaulin/costume covers for covering garden equipment
- Door draught excluders
- Letterbox draught excluders
- Weatherstrip for doors and windows
- All-weather Masonry Paint
- Wood varnish
- Ladder to give the roof access you need
Have you more essential tips to add? Share them
Have we missed any essential chores that you’ve found to be helpful in weatherproofing and preparing your home for the autumn?