As a homeowner, there are maintenance items that are important to get done in the fall. In Bozeman when fall can quickly turn into winter, these things need to be done early. Sometimes we miss fall altogether around here, so early preparation is necessary! Here are ten things to prepare your home for fall...some practical and some just for fun because that's how we roll around here.
1. Schedule your sprinklers to be blown out
This is an important one to get done before the temperatures get cold. We all know that in Montana it can be 80-degrees one day and then freezing the next. That's why it's a good idea to schedule the sprinklers to be blown out in early Septemeber. If you wait until right before the first hard freeze you'll likely have to wait because everyone else is thinking the same thing. Schedule it early and save yourself a headache.
2. Check your furnace filters
It seems like we quickly go from warm, summer nights to feeling the chill of fall. This means the heaters will soon be running. Check the furnace filters and have a spare on hand to make changing them out before fall quick and easy. A good rule of thumb with furnace filters is changing them in the spring and fall. Perhaps more often if you have pets. Keeping up with this helps your furnace run smoothly and last longer.
3. Have a plan to cover or harvest your garden
Gardening in Bozeman can be tricky! We patiently wait for the first signs of spring and danger of frost to be over before we plant our seeds. Then carefully tend to it all summer until finally, we start getting delicious tomatoes and zucchini's galore. Just when you are really starting to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended!) the weather begins to forecast below freeze temps and you have to decide what to do. Cover the garden and hope for the best or frantically harvest everything the day before a cold front. The struggle is real. Our suggestion is when September hits, begin to think about what you want to do so you are prepared. If you still have a ton of green tomatoes, don't fear! Put them in a cardboard box or paper bag and let them ripen. Too many zucchinis? Shred them, put them in a Ziploc and freeze them for future use. When you have a plan to save all those yummy veggies, those early freezes are less painful.
4. Plant some bulbs
The best way to get over the end of your garden is to get back in the dirt and plant some bulbs. There is nothing like seeing the first signs of these flowers in the springtime after a long Bozeman winter to really get you excited for the change in seasons.
5. Check your roof
The roof of a home endures a lot around here. From heavy snow through the winter to early summer hail storms. Checking on it regularly can prevent costly repairs later on. Experts recommend having your roof checked twice a year to make sure all is well. If you catch something such as a loose or missing shingle early on it's easier to replace and prevent further damage. Just like the furnace filter, spring and fall are great times for these types of maintenance check-ups.
6. Take care of the leaves
Now this one doesn't have to be all work and no play. There's nothing quite like raking up a bunch of leaves and jumping in the pile. Rather than making this the chore that it can be, have some fun with it and then get down to work of actually raking and bagging all the leaves in your yard. The City of Bozeman offers a leaf cleanup program that starts in October. Keep an eye on their website to see when they'll be in your neighborhood.
7. Get pumpkins for your front porch
As you can see, we're getting into the fun stuff! Nothing says fall like a few pumpkins gathered on your front porch. While it's still too early for jack-o-lanterns it's not for simply decorating your porch with some pumpkins and corn stalks. There's a good chance it's looking pretty bare by this time of year with all the flowers gone, so now is the time!
8. Change your menu
It's time to switch it up from burgers and barbeques to chili and casseroles. This will hopefully go hand in hand with harvesting your garden and you can create some delicious fall soups to warm you up as the nights get cooler.
9. Squeeze out the last bits of summer
It's over too soon so make the most of it before fall officially gets here. If it's a warm evening, go out for ice cream. Maybe sneak in one more camping trip (just bring warm clothes!). Eat outside any chance you can. Take advantage of any day over 80-degrees so you can fully say goodbye to summer and welcome fall with open arms.
10. Enjoy your favorite fall activities.
There are SO many things to do in Bozeman in the fall! Visit Rocky Creek Farm, go to the Hay Maze, take a drive down Willson Avenue to check out the changing colors of the leaves...we could go on and on. In fact, we did just that in a previous post that you can find here and add a few things to your fall bucket list!