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  • Writer's pictureZach

5 Outside Yard Activities You Can Do Before Winter Sets In

December is here and it's getting pretty cold out, but you still have time to get these 5 late fall/early winter things done outside to get ready for winter and get a head start on next spring!

1 - Put Your Winter Fertilizer Down

Make sure you have your winter fertilizer put down on your yard. Last year I didn’t post about it because I didn’t want to give bad advice, but I put mine down in December. The reason I waited late was because I wanted to make sure the ground was frozen and it was done raining. With the warm weather lately (60 degrees in December), the last fertilizer application is probably working, but you don’t really want it working until spring. You do need to make sure you get it on before the snow, but if you can time it right, putting it on late is best for next spring.

earl may fall lawn food in spreader

I use Earl May’s Midwest Select Premium Fall Lawn Food. It is loaded with Iron and Sulfur to give you a chance at a deep green yard in early spring instead of later spring. This application is what will “Winterize” your lawn by helping it store food needed for growth next spring. Make sure you blow it off any cement when finished!

2 - Detach All Garden Hoses From the House

Every year I hear of flood damage caused by leaving the hose attached to the house spigot. Most people just unintentionally forget. We're extra freaked out about water problems after our basement flooded last spring so this year I even put covers over the spigots to protect them from freezing and cracking which could lead to leaking. I found these on Amazon. Low price and gets the job done. Something really simple to do just to be safe.

zach installing winter cover over spigot

3 - Store and Cover Your Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor patio chairs, tables and umbrellas are expensive. If you don’t have an indoor shed or garage to store it all in, simply cover it up. Just by keeping water and snow off of them will help retain color, and keep them from wearing out as fast. Protect your patio furniture investment by protecting it during the winter. We moved all pillows inside or in the storage box, put the small umbrellas in the garage, adn covered up everythign else including our big canteliever umbrella and all furniture.

zach putting winter cover on umbrella

We found this cover that even goes over a stack of chaise lounge chairs. We definitely don't have room to store those in our garage.

outdoor table chairs couch and umbrella winter covers

Our new dining set from Costco even came with its own winter cover. Some brave Iowans grill in the winter, but not us - so that's been shut down and covered for good too.

outdoor dining table winter cover

4- Put Sea Foam In Your Mower and Snowblower

I learned about this from a neighbor that does a lot of work on engines. He always puts Sea Foam in his mower at the end of the year and beginning of the year. He told me it keeps the engine parts clean without having to do anything. I put about half of the bottle in my snowblower and the other half in my riding lawn mower.

zach holding sea foam

According to the product description on Amazon, "Sea Foam Motor Treatment works to dissolve and clean fuel deposits and sticky residues from gas and diesel fuel injectors, carburetors, and combustion chambers. Sea Foam helps to stabilize stored fuel for up to two years by resisting evaporation, preserving ignition vapors, and preventing the formation of gum and varnish. Sea Foam lubricates upper cylinders and helps to protect the entire fuel system from dry out, wear and corrosion."

adding sea foam to mower gas tank

If you aren’t a believer read the reviews from different customers. Amazon sells a four pack that you can save a little money on, but you can also find individual bottles at your local hardware stores. This is just something that saves me from having to spend a bunch of money on lawnmower and snowblower engines.

5 - Plant Bulbs for Early Spring Color

Lastly, if you can find them really cheap right now it’s still warm enough to get your bulbs in. Again, with the recent warm weather you still have time to dig in the ground since it's not totally rozen yet in order to get some early spring flowers and color.

hand holding daffodil bulb

I planted about 100 daffodils this year. Rabbits and Deer won’t touch them and they come back every year.

daffodil bulb pack

Just dig a hole and follow the depth required. Make sure your bulb has the roots down on the ground.

bulbs in a dirt hole

This takes very little time, but adds a bright spot to your yard in the spring when nothing else is blooming.

We're officially ready for winter outside now.


Need a get-ready-for-winter outdoor fix? Here's what we used:

Lawn Fertilizer

Winter Covers

Motor Treatment

Planting Bulbs

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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