The Autumn Equinox will officially arrive at 8:54 tonight. Lets get ready for hopefully cooler weather finally. Nights by the fire roasting s’mores and changing leaves.
Here is our fall check list to get ready for winter, not that we need to hurry and complete it to soon here in NWA. A few tips on how to care for Mums for those of you who want to start on Autumn and Halloween decor early.
Don’t forget to call and schedule your leaf clean up service for this year. Or any other lawn maintenance that may be needed before the end of the year including a new gas or wood fire pit to sit by.
Halloween is over and Thanksgiving just around the corner. These are traditional markers for bringing in the harvest and other winter preparations. We are trying to check off our fall do lists, and thought we might share some of the things on it with you.
- Re-pot and bring in an houseplants that went outside for the summer
- Cut Back Perennial Plants
- Divide Perennials
- Dig up are cover and mulch cold sensitive bulbs
- Over seed the lawn
- Plant bulbs that will bloom next spring
- Remove Fallen Leaves
- Clean Gutters
- Drain and store hoses/ winterize spickets
- Winterize and properly store lawn equipment, like the mower, weed eater, and power washer.
That’s a lot just concerning the yard. Not to mention taking down and tilling the garden beds. We will start taking down some of ours this week. Not all of them though our tomatoes are still going like crazy. I will leave them until we get a heavy frost and pick what I can the night before.
Some of the really important things go in inside the house. Or will help keep the house warmer when it does get cold (eventually). Not to mention also needs done for safety reasons.
- Sweep the Chimney
- Clean the gas furnace, and check for gas leaks
- Cut firewood
- Check doors and windows for cracks. Silicone or add weather stripping if needed
- Spray for spiders
That doesn’t even include dragging out all of the winter clothes and making sure that the kids coats still fit.
Plus we can’t forget the pets. We love heated water bowls, they make our lives so much easier. We also try to keep an extra bale or two of hay on hand for the chickens or just in case the dogs have to stay outside for an extended period when its cold.
That’s most of our winter prep list. I am sure I forgot something, but it’s a start anyway. Hopefully it helped you remember something you may have forgotten.
Fall Clean Up Chimney Sweeps
Halloween is less than a week away. The leaves are falling and mums and pumpkins are being sold everywhere. We are trying to bring in some festive decor, while the kids are still trying to decide what to dress up as for Halloween. On top of all the chores that need done before the weather gets really cold.
We’ve started to build a new wood shed that will have a tool shed attached, that we can’t wait to share IF we ever get it done. We have also been doing a very large and dangerous landscape job that hopefully will be completed by the end of the week. It will look amazing when it’s finished. Along with making the homeowners backyard with a gorgeous view of a lake much more practical so they can enjoy it.
Now about those fall decorations. We finally bought some mums again (much later in the year than I had originally planned). We really love the dark red ones, hopefully we can get them to survive the winter inside this year and plant them in the spring. Here is the link to our post about mums and their care Tips for Growing Mums.
Two pumpkins because it just isn’t October without pumpkins. Our hope that our four year old son would help with carving went out the window as soon as he realized his hands would get dirty. But he loves them now that they are cleaned and lit.
The two tiny white pumpkins are everyone’s favorite including our sons, he carried them around all day.
The fallen leaves are really what brings all of it together. At least for now. A few in the yard are pretty and help remind us of the time of year. So long as we stay on top of keeping the vast majority cleaned up.
We hope you are having a wonderful fall, and bringing the beautiful fall colors into your home also. Give us a call if you need help getting your yard or chimney ready for winter at 417-772-4181.
Fall brings cooler weather pretty leaves and those horrible webs that seem to cover the trees and deter from the pretty leaves.
Commonly referred to as bagworms or webworms. Hyphantria cunea are the type of webworms that make their appearance during late summer and autumn.
The Good News
The good news is these little guys don’t generally hurt the trees, and are just more of an aesthetic problem. Webworms only munch on the leaves of the tree, which is already about to go dormant for the winter and shed it’s leaves anyway.
The Bad News
The bad news is that webworms range from south Canada across the U.S. and love just about every kind of hardwood tree. Hickory, oak, pecan, even redbud and some fruit trees. The list goes on encompassing almost all deciduous trees.
More than likely before the worm or adult moth is spotted we will notice the nest. Nests are composed of spider like string thread that is woven together with twigs, leaf debris and excrement from the worms. They gradually become larger and encompass more leaves, the larger nests can reach up to 3 feet.
The adult moth is most commonly white with darker spots on the wings.
Caterpillars can grow up to 1 inch long and colors vary by climate and location. Most caterpillars have a yellow to green colored body with a mottled strip or two running running along the length of them. Their heads can range in color from black to a reddish hue.
The eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. Clutches contain a couple hundred eggs that hatch out in about a week. Young caterpillars build their own webs while they feed on leaves. This stage will last about a month and a half. As winter comes closer the grown caterpillar weaves a dark brown cocoon about ⅜ of an inch long either in leaf debris or under some loose bark. It will survive the winter in its pupa form.
More often than not little is done to control these pests. Expert opinion is that they cause little damage to trees, that are preparing to shed their leaves and go dormant for the winter. So why not let them be.
Tree safety aside making your home in a tall tree and out of reach keeps most humans from braving the awkward scenario of removing them. But what if some of us do want to remove them from interrupting our fall leaf experience.
- Natural Enemies. Webworms have a lot of them. Including birds, if you can reach a web cut it open to give birds easy access.
- Make Your Yard More Bird Friendly. Adding bird feeders, houses and baths will help you attract mother nature’s first line of defense.
- Keep Trees Pruned. Pruning dead branches will help deter them especially if you use pest spray afterwards
- Keep Debris Picked UP. Leaf and other fall debris provide hiding places for insects, and prevent natural predators from getting an opening.
- Sevin Dust or other farm powder can be used as soon as you notice a problem and repeat 10-14 days later. The construction on the web makes nests water resistant and prevents most sprays from penetrating.
- Let Them Be.
Custom fire pits for your backyard. We can install wood or propane. Native stone or brick the sky and imagination are the limit. We would love to install an in-ground fire pit, it’s something we have not had the opportunity to do just yet.