So you toiled all spring and summer on a beautiful lawn, flower beds, and more. Or maybe you paid quite a bit to have a professional take care of it for you. Either way, once fall rolls around, you’re off the hook, right? Unfortunately, you can’t take breaks or cut corners with great landscaping. Here are a few reasons why it pays to keep working outdoors even after things stop blooming.

Preparing for a Redesign

Thinking about a brand new patio, adding a row of shrubs, or even a re-seeding of your lawn for the next warm season? The cooler months are the best time to address this. That way, everything will be settled in for the seasons when you want your outdoor space to look its best. Any overturned soil can be seeded so that by summer, no one would be able to tell the work was done.

If you’re planting perennials, many need to go down in the fall, anyway. Some of your hardiest, most enduring blooms begin taking root in October, so this is a prime time to check out the bulb selection at the local garden center.

Staying Ahead of Weather-Related Issues

If you pay for landscaping or property maintenance, you need to keep them on during winter months. They can help protect and weatherize any costly sprinkler or irrigation systems, which can fall into disrepair when the ground freezes. This will save you money once the thaw comes.

In addition, ice and snow removal is difficult to get done in the morning as you’re trying to head out. Having a person dedicated to snow removal, putting down salt before ice events, and more can keep sidewalks, patios, and driveways clear.

Pruning and Raking

If you care about the appearance of your grass, it’s not the mowing that’s most important. It’s ensuring that your grass doesn’t die, become patchy, or anything else. If your lawn is covered in dead leaves, the grass beneath isn’t getting proper sunlight or moisture for a decent springtime reveal. Leaves need to be raked up or completely removed weekly at least.

If you ignore leaves, they can clog up gutters and collect on the roof. This can lead to the need for repairs later down the road and generally make your property a lot less appealing.

Pruning shrubs and trees is also easier at this time. Trees, in particular, can be much more efficiently trimmed once the leaves have fallen. Taking the chance to cut back branches during the fall also prevents accidents that can occur during ice storms and blizzards, when the last thing you want to do is go outside and deal with damage.

And lastly, there’s the care you need to take to preserve some of the work you did over the summer. New plantings may need to be protected with sheeting or burlap. Mulching your beds is key, as is laying mulch or straw over vegetable gardens. Fall is also a good time to fertilize everything, so remember – how you approach fall landscaping has a huge impact on spring beauty.