Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Addressing Garden Hazards Heading into Fall

As summer approaches its calendar end later this month, I start thinking about cleaning up the flower beds and positioning them for fall. I like to clear out dead growth, cut back what needs cutting back, and put out my mums and cabbage flower plants (they probably have a technical name) that I truly love. The end of summer doesn’t quite mean heading inside for the winter and being done dealing with the exterior. To ensure you and your family stay safe and healthy, here are a few of the risks you should be taking care of in the garden before the weather changes too much.

The pest problem

The turn of the seasons is unfortunately also when garden pests start to become indoor guests, even if they’re unwelcome. It never fails that we have some crickets end up inside. For one, once it starts raining, there tends to be a lot more standing water, which is prime nesting ground for a lot of insects. Furthermore, small mammals like mice will be hiding out in overgrown grass and bushes. So we like to address areas of standing water and overgrowth ASAP so we don't have any unwanted visitors inside.

Branching out into new problems

If you have trees or tall bushes in your garden, then you should be aware of the risks that they could potentially pose. Falling leaves and broken twigs can clog up the gutters around the home. A good gutter cleaning can make sure that water doesn’t start building up and leaking into the home. Otherwise, tree services should be used to trim down your branches. In windy and stormy weather, branches can break off, becoming a serious health hazard. They can hit roof tiles, power lines, your car, and even people, doing a lot of damage if you don’t neaten things up. I think a lot of people have looked at the trees surrounding them quite differently after some of this summer's storms. I know our neighbor who had the tree fall into ours removed it entirely.

Slips, trips, and falls

Part of exterior maintenance is cleaning up leaves, twigs, and anything else that can make walkways of the exterior slippery and more likely to lead to accidents. However, the biggest problem is one that might be invisible as first. Algae can make these areas extremely slippery. Pressure washing is the easiest way to get rid of that...this reminds me I need to order a replacement hose for our pressure washer.

Should you be afraid of the dark?

If you only have a very small yard or garden that doesn’t have unlevel surfaces, then you might not need to worry too much about this. However, if you have a big yard/garden with long walkways or you have raised surfaces such as patios and steps, then you need to make sure that your garden is safe to traverse in the evening. When it gets darker, it’s going to be harder to see boundaries and raises, meaning that people are a lot more likely to trip, fall, and hurt themselves. Outdoor lighting can help improve things in the garden a lot. I use a lot of solar or battery powered lanterns.

Being the owner of a safe and healthy home means being continuously vigilant. The above issues are just a few of the risks that the exterior can hold as we head into the fall. You might not be out gardening thrice a week anymore, but there's still work to be done. I mean, isn't there always?

What's on your list to address in the exterior as summer winds down?

Happy Tuesday to you, happy September, and happy happy birthday to MFD (that's a link to his campaign page if you'd like to make a donation for his birthday to support his campaign and agenda of ending preventable deaths due to Substance Use Disorder, ending stigma surrounding Mental Health, fighting for equitably funded public schools,protecting our environment, ensuring criminal justice reform, making real change to the institutions that are systemically racist, and championing our goal of healthcare for all and all that jazz), Debbie, AJ, and Griffin.

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