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Fall Clean-Up: All You Need to Know | EverGreen Landscapes

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Fall Clean-Up: What Is It and What Does it Include?

Fall cleanup prepares your property for a strong, healthy spring. The process usually involves routine tasks that should be performed every year, including removing leaves (or pine straw), grass clippings, and other debris from your property.

The best way to make sure your lawn is ready for spring cleanup is by getting the debris off the lawn before it sifts down into the soil or gets matted down in weeds.

What is A Fall Cleanup?

Fall cleanup is a series of lawn care tasks that need to be performed before winter arrives. A fall cleanup usually includes the following:

  • Cleaning up leaves from trees and shrubs, flower beds, and surrounding areas.

  • Removing pine straw or mulch from beds and replacing it with a fresh layer of organic matter also falls under this category.

  • Removing old, dead flowers and weeds from flower beds.

  • Scarifying your lawn to break up thatch buildup and promote new seed growth for next spring. Thatch is a layer of dead organic matter that sits on top of the grass and can prevent the plant from absorbing the water and nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy lawn.

  • Raking up grass clippings on your lawn after you mow to prevent thatch buildup. Back-porching or bagging grass clippings keep them from blowing around and help ensure the nutrients in the clippings get back into your soil instead of sitting atop it.

  • Power raking or dethatching your lawn. Both of these techniques break up thatch and encourage new seed growth.

  • Applying pre-emergent weed control to lawns where you plan on overseeding in the spring. This step should be performed before October 15 and ensures weeds won't grow and take moisture and nutrients away from your new grass seed.

  • Applying a winterizer fertilizer to lawns before the first frost or hard freeze. Winterizers provide essential nutrients to your yard after it has gone dormant for the season and will help ensure a strong, healthy lawn next spring.

Tools Needed

A rake, a leaf blower/vacuum combination, a wheelbarrow, a garden hose, and a bucket.

A good pair of gloves for raking up leaves will also be needed.

When to Start

The first week of October is usually when we recommend starting your fall cleanup efforts. If you plan on overseeding in the spring, you should start this process earlier in October.

What to Do:

  • Rake up as many leaves as you can from around your property and bag or mulch them with a leaf blower/vacuum combination.

  • Cut the grass if it is over-grown. Leave enough height on the grass to allow for some air circulation and sun exposure.

  • Start dethatching with a manual push dethatcher or riding dethatcher, depending on what you have available to do the job.

  • Finish up by overseeding your lawn with fresh grass seed if you plan on doing so.

  • Apply pre-emergent weed control to the areas where you plan on overseeding in the spring.

  • Apply a winterizer fertilizer.


Removing leaves and debris from flower beds is extremely important this time of year. Leaves left on flower beds can suffocate the plants underneath, preventing them from absorbing water and nutrients.

Dethatching should be done once every couple of years, depending on how much traffic your lawn gets. Dethatching should only be performed when the soil is moist enough to penetrate easily. Applying pre-emergent weed control to your lawn is also important. You can do it yourself with a pre-mix available at your local garden store or hire a professional to do the job for you. If you choose to apply weed control by hand, be sure you don't get any on other areas of your lawn like sidewalks and driveways because it will prevent grass from growing there.

As soon as the first frost or freeze occurs, you should stop all lawn fertilizing efforts.

Providing nutrients to your lawn after the first hard freeze may cause it to burn, which will kill your grass. You can also apply a winterizer fertilizer now to help provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs during its inactive season.

Reasons to Do a Fall Cleanup

  • Prevent Pests

Removing debris prevents pests from overwintering in your lawn, reduces thatch buildup that can lead to disease in the spring, and provides nutrients to the turf. And while fall is not a great time for seeding or sodding cool-season grasses, it can be an excellent time to plant spring seed.

  • Check for Lawn Damage

Fall cleanup also offers an opportunity to scout your lawn for damage, which you can better see when the leaves are gone. Any diseases, insects, or other problems that might be present will then be easier to spot.

  • Shield Your Roof and Gutters from Destruction by Debris

Fall cleanups also keep debris off your roof and gutters. Residual snowfall melts quickly in spring, but it may not melt as soon if it's stuck in piles of leaves, grass clippings, and rubbish.

  • Improve Aesthetic Appeal

The idea of fall cleanup is to make your property look good. By removing debris, you can enhance curb appeal and allow a strong spring season. If you're thinking of selling your home, this is also a great time to give your house a deep cleaning from the outside to improve your chances of attracting potential buyers.

How to Prepare for Fall Cleanup:

  • Protect Your Water Lines

You should also identify where your water lines are so you can avoid hitting them with a shovel. If they get damaged, you'll have a hard time finding any new ones or repairing the old ones.

  • Be Sure to Gather Your Tools and Equipment

Pack safety glasses, leather gloves, garden shears, loppers, knee pads, and a wheelbarrow. Be prepared to clean up all of your landscaping tools once you finish as well or find out where you can take them for cleaning.

  • Know How Much Debris You Have

You should also know how much debris you have so that you can plan accordingly. Don't wait until the last minute to gather tools or supplies.

How to Clean Up the Yard

On a sunny day when lawns are dry (after at least four days of drying weather), use your rake or leaf blower to collect leaves, pine needles, and other debris. You can set up tarps or tarp-covered boxes to contain the debris. Then, use your lawnmower or blower to reduce leaves and other collected material into smaller pieces that can be easily bagged, composted, or recycled.

When you're finished raking up the leaves, don't forget to check for clippings caught in areas where you removed weeds or grass.

Fall Cleanup Tips for Residential and Commercial Property Owners

  • Clean up any leaves or debris that have fallen on your lawn

Make sure you rake up any fallen leaves or debris before they get pulled into your lawn. Fallen leaves can create a breeding ground for weeds. Not to mention, it's just an eyesore!

  • Remove debris from roof gutters

While you're getting rid of fallen leaves, check your gutter system for any dirt, leaves, or other debris. A quick inspection can make sure water is flowing smoothly through your property's drainage system! This will save you time and money during the spring rainstorms.

  • Don't neglect your deck & siding!

Rake up any leaves or other debris from your deck and the exterior of your home, so you don't have a mess on your hands when spring gets here. Trust us, it'll be a big headache to clean out wet leaves at this time of year, so get it done early!

  • Trim back shrubs, hedges, and trees to keep them healthy during the winter months

When you're taking care of your yard in the fall, make sure you trim back any shrubs, hedges, or trees, so they don't grow out of control throughout the winter. Keep them cut back to an appropriate level for easy mowing when spring gets here!

  • Get rid of any weeds growing in your flower beds and mulch/bark areas

Weeds will really take over if you let them. Use a pre-emergent herbicide to help stop any weed growth before it starts! This way, you won't have to worry about weeds popping up all over your flower beds or bark mulch areas this spring!

  • Inspect the foundation of your home for cracks or other damage

This will be the last chance you have to check for any damage before cold weather sets in. Take a look at your foundation and make sure there are no visible cracks or any other issues that need fixing. If you do find any damage, have it set before the temperatures drop!

  • Check gutters for clogs, leaves, or pine needles

Your gutters probably aren't the first thing you think of in the fall, but they should be! A quick inspection can ensure your gutters and downspouts are working efficiently, so water flows through them properly. If you find any leaves or pine needles in your gutter system, use a leaf blower to clean them out before fluid builds up and can cause a lot of damage. If you find a clog, use a rubber hose to remove the material that's stuck in your gutters!

  • Keep an eye on sprinklers

Once leaves have fallen from trees, many homeowners forget about their sprinkler system in fall cleanup. Be sure to check the heads after you've raked up all of the leaves in your property to be sure they're all working efficiently! If you find a head that isn't spraying water, replace it with a new one before the winter sets in.

Why You Need a Cleanup Service in the Fall

Even if you diligently complete all of the fall cleanup tasks on your to-do list, chances are there will still be plenty of areas that need attention. Leaves and other debris cover your lawn, gutters clog up fast, and any finished surfaces like siding can accumulate mold or mildew after sitting idle for eight months.

A professional cleanup service can save you a lot of time and aggravation this fall. Here's why:

  • They use the right equipment

Professional cleaning companies have all of the high-powered tools needed to make short work of any fall cleanup job around your home. They'll use leaf blowers to clean up leaves, jet washers to remove sap or sticky grime, and smoke eaters to clear out mold or mildew. If you're doing all of this cleanup by hand, it can take hours! A cleanup service will complete the job in a fraction of the time.

  • They have specialized knowledge

One of the biggest fall cleanup tasks is cleaning gutters. If water isn't draining away from your home efficiently, it can lead to serious water damage when winter comes around. Professional cleaners understand how to clean gutters without damaging them. They also know which parts of your lawn are most susceptible to compaction in the fall, so they'll take extra care in those areas when raking or blowing leaves away.

  • They're insured

Many home improvement jobs require workers to have insurance that covers any damages that might occur while they're on the job. If you hire a cleaning company, you won't have to worry about any accidents they might cause, because it's already covered! Many cleanup services are also bonded and licensed which means they'll uphold your property's safety standards when they're on the job.

  • They can deal with your insurance company

If you file an insurance claim for repairs or restoration services, your cleanup company can help ensure all of your needs are met quickly and professionally. They'll walk you through what to expect, make sure all of your questions and concerns are addressed in a timely manner, and make sure your insurance company is working with you the whole way.

  • They can do it all from start to finish!

Home owners often have a hard time successfully completing fall cleanup by themselves. That's because most people don't have the right equipment, knowledge of how to use that equipment safely, or enough spare time to get the job done. A cleanup service can handle everything from start to finish, so you don't have to deal with anything other than making sure they have access to your property!

Our Fall Clean-Up Services

EverGreen Landscapes’ cleanup service includes the removal of leaves, pine straw, and grass clippings from your property. After we're done, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy a beautiful spring lawn!

Routine Fall Clean Up Service

  • Leaf Removal

  • Pine Needles or Bark Mulch Removal from Lawn Area

  • Miscellaneous Debris Removal (Grass Clippings, etc.)

  • Mow and Edge Lawn as Needed

Leaf Cleanup and Removal

The leaves have all fallen from trees, but they're still littering your yard. Leaves are a pain to remove because it takes time to do it the old-fashioned way. Instead, let us take care of it. We can use a lawn vacuum to get up all the leaves for you! This makes fall cleanup quick and efficient, so you can get back to enjoying your yard sooner.

Pine Needles / Bark Mulch Removal from Lawn Area

Fall debris is a pain to remove by hand. Pine needles, in particular, are much easier to remove with a vacuum-style lawnmower. EverGreen Landscapes offers the best in fast, efficient leaf removal for your property!

Miscellaneous Debris Removal (Grass Clippings, etc.)

EverGreen Landscapes' fall cleanup service also includes the removal of grass clippings and other debris such as sticks and leaves. We can use a lawn vacuum to remove all of these items from your property, making fall cleanup much easier than if you did it yourself.

Mow and Edge Lawn as Needed

Lastly, we'll come out and mow and edge your lawn as needed before the winter sets in. This way, you'll stay on top of the maintenance and keep your property looking good all winter long!

With You beyond Fall Cleanups!

Evergreen Landscapes offers more than just cleanup services. We can also install or repair your irrigation system, landscape lighting, and lawn maintenance.

Our goal is to give you the beautiful property of your dreams with extralegal landscaping services. We are confident that our exceptional work will exceed your expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fall Cleanup

When should you do a fall cleanup?

It's best to wait until October to Early November to do a fall cleanup since most leaves will already have fallen by then.

What is included in a fall cleanup service?

A fall cleanup service will involve removing leaves and pine needles, and other debris such as grass clippings. You can also opt for lawn or landscaping services like mowing and edging your lawn to ensure it stays looking good all winter long.

How long will it take to complete a fall cleanup service?

Typically, the length of time it takes for us to complete a fall cleanup is around one or two days. This depends on the size of your property, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask! We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

What should you do with the debris after it's cleaned up?

Make sure to check with your local municipality about how they suggest disposing of grass clippings and other yards debris. Some may require bagging, and some may not. If you're having leaves removed, then you can leave the debris on your property.

How much does fall cleanup cost?

Prices for this service vary based on the amount of debris to be removed and the size of your property. The average price is $200-$500. This price also includes the removal of other yard debris like grass clippings. Contact us today to learn more about our fall cleanup rates and get a custom quote.

What is a fall lawn cleanup?

A fall lawn cleanup includes the removal of leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, and other yard debris. Depending on your property size, you can choose between a one-time cleanup or an ongoing contract for this service.

How often should I have my lawn cleaned?

We suggest having your lawn professionally cleaned once every few weeks. This will ensure that you get rid of all debris and keep your lawn looking healthy. Don't let yard work be a burden when we can help!

When should you do a fall cleanup?

It's usually best to schedule your fall cleanup after the leaves have all fallen. If you wait too long, then you'll end up with lots of grass clippings and other yard debris in addition to the leaves, which may take more time than if you did it yourself or hired someone else to do it for you.

Should you leave leaves in flower beds over winter?

Leaves in flower beds can suffocate the flowers and prevent them from growing. If you like your flowers, then it's best to rake them out. You can either bag or mulch them up to use for compost later on.

What should you do if your leaves are wet?

If the leaves are wet, then don't use a blower. This will result in clumping and can damage your lawnmower. Instead, rake them up manually. Don't let wet leaves sit on your lawn for too long. This can result in thatch and other damage to your grass over time if they're not taken care of quickly and efficiently.

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