How to Take Care of Your Backyard During the Changing Autumn Months

Autumn in Washington state means pumpkin spice lattes, rain, and rivers of pine needles, yellow leaves, and Western Red Cedar branches.

It also means a lot of cleanup in the backyard. That’s why it’s important to have a checklist to take care of plants and property alike during the deluge of wet, windy weather.


First, make sure you’re prepared with the tools to take care of your yard. Get sturdy gardening gloves for picking up branches and clearing out gutters. Have a rake on hand for leaves, pinecones and twigs. If you have lots of trees with branches that grow faster than your kids, you may consider getting a tree trimmer.

Cleanup bags may be a good idea if you find yourself with lots of yard waste each year. That way, sharp branches or blackberry bushes won’t accidentally break through and stab anyone. Or, roll a compost bin into your backyard and load up from there.

Leaf blowers are also great for your property and some can even be converted to help you clean out the gutters. But you don’t need a bunch of fancy machinery if you have a good, sharp pair of pruners to clear out the shrubbery.


Many cities and counties will collect yard waste as part of curbside pickup, but make sure it’s separated from the garbage, as these scraps are not accepted in landfill. Yard waste is turned into compost by the city or county, which is distributed to others for their own gardening needs. You can feel good about being part of a process that helps protect the earth by recycling resources!

Check with your city or county website to see the best way to dispose of yard waste. For example, yard waste is typically not accepted in plastic bags, because those bags are not compostable.

You may also be interested in composting the yard waste on your own, and using the compost for your gardening needs in the future. Follow these steps from King County to learn how to create soil on your own.

Work through a checklist for your yard

If raking leaves and jumping in them is part of your fall habit, then no one needs to tell you how often to do so. But if you dread getting out the rake and cleaning up the yard, aim to do it before the first frost comes and after most of the leaves are on the ground, Home Depot recommends, reminding us that wet leaves are more difficult to rake up than dry ones.

Cleaning your gutters is also on the fall checklist, especially after the leaves and twigs have fallen and clogged them. Clear them out to prevent flooding, water damage, and mold.

If you’re interested in maintaining your lawn, Better Homes & Gardens has several great steps to work through in the fall, from cutting your grass shorter to laying sod to aerating.

Questions about home insuranceContact a Sea Mountain Homeowners Insurance Specialist today!