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Easy Fall Yard Maintenance 101: Leaf Cleanup for a Healthy Lawn

As the autumn season sets in, the beautiful, vibrant colors of falling leaves may be a sight to behold all over O’Fallon, but they also signal the task of fall leaf cleanup. This article presents a comprehensive guide to help you get your yard winter-ready systematically and efficiently.


As the air grows crisp and the days shorter, your yard demands some attention before the onset of winter. When autumn leaves start to fall, it’s time to consider a systematic fall cleanup. Your lawn needs to breathe, and a blanket of leaves can suffocate your grass, obstruct sunlight, and promote the growth of harmful fungi.

The Importance of Fall Cleanup

A thorough leaf cleanup during autumn prepares your yard for the cold winter months ahead. It prevents the accumulation of debris, weeds, and fallen leaves that could harbor pests or diseases. By investing time and effort in fall yard maintenance, you set the stage for a lush, healthy lawn when spring arrives.

Yard in Autumn

Starting Your Leaf Cleanup

Begin your leaf cleanup at the onset of the fall. Not only is the weather more conducive for outdoor work, but an early start also prepares your lawn for its winter dormancy period. Plus, it helps avoid rushing this essential task during the busy holiday season.

Essential Cleanup Tasks

A systematic fall yard cleanup involves several crucial tasks. From removing debris and yellow grass, mowing the lawn, and fertilizing the grass, to planting shrubs, every step is vital to preparing your garden for the colder months. Let’s delve into these tasks in more detail.

Detailed Fall Yard Cleanup Checklist

1. Debris and Leaf Cleanup

Begin with a thorough cleanup of your yard. Use a leaf blower or a rake to collect all fallen leaves and debris. You can convert these leaves into compost for your garden, contributing to a more sustainable environment. If the task of leaf cleanup seems overwhelming or time-consuming, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced professionals for expert assistance.

2. Remove Dead Grass

Next, replace any patches of yellow or dead grass in your lawn. Such spots may occur due to the lack of sunlight under the dense leaf cover. You can use sod to replace the removed grass.

3. Mow the Lawn

Mowing the grass is an essential part of yard maintenance. Trim your grass to the recommended height, ensuring not to cut it too short as it could lead to a weaker root system.

4. Fertilize the Grass

Before winter sets in, feed your lawn with the necessary nutrients. Fertilizing your grass helps it withstand the harsh winter and sprout healthily come spring. You can either use chemical fertilizers or opt for organic, homemade compost.

5. Plant Shrubs and Other Plants

Autumn is the ideal time to plant shrubs and perennials. The cool and moist soil conditions help these plants establish their roots better.

6. Trim Unnecessary Branches

Inspect all trees and shrubs in your garden for any dead or weak branches. Remove these branches to prevent potential damage during winter months.

7. Prepare Your Vegetable Garden

If you have a vegetable garden, clean up all the debris and dead leaves. Following the cleanup, add a layer of compost to enrich the soil for future planting.

8. Plant Bulb Plants

For a colorful spring garden, plant spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils during fall. Planting such bulbs is a delightful investment in the future beauty of your garden. Choose a location with well-drained soil and adequate sunlight, and remember to follow the recommended planting depth for each bulb variety.

9. Protect Sensitive Plants

Some plants cannot withstand extreme cold or sunlight. Consider installing frost guards for such plants or moving the potted ones indoors.

10. Divide Perennials

If your perennials have overgrown, fall is the perfect time to cut them back. You can transplant these divided plants to other parts of your garden.

11. Add Mulch

Create new beds for plants and fill them with chopped leaves or other organic waste. Adding mulch to your garden not only keeps the soil warm but also helps reduce soil erosion.

12. Dry Out Drip Systems

Avoid leaving water in drip pipes as it may freeze and lead to pipe cracks. Shut down the valves and remove the water from the drip pipes.

13. Clean and Store Tools

Clean all your gardening tools and apply a light coat of oil to prevent rusting during the cold season.

Professional Help

While fall leaf cleanup can be a DIY task, it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you’re in Belleville, IL, or the surrounding area and need professional assistance, Edgeworx Lawn Pros offers yard services like leaf cleanup, bush and hedge trimming, aerating, and flower bed cleanups in the Belleville/O’Fallon area of Illinois. Our expert services can help you maintain a healthy and beautiful yard all year round.


Fall yard cleanup may seem daunting, but it pays off in the form of a healthy and vibrant lawn in the spring. With this comprehensive guide and a systematic approach, you can prepare your yard for winter and ensure it is ready to flourish when warmer weather returns.

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