By Mary Lynn Bruny

Ah, fall in Colorado! Is there a more glorious season in our fair state? Sunny days with cool, crisp air, blue skies and colorful foliage. Heavenly! Unfortunately we never know how long this incredible weather will last. The only thing predicable about Colorado weather is it is unpredictable. Today it may be a perfect 75 degrees, but in a few weeks it could be 15 degrees with two feet of snow. Thus now is the time to winterizing your home and yard. Consider these projects:

Cut back overgrown trees and bushes
Our banner spring rains resulted in foliage growth like it was on steroids. In my decades of Colorado gardening I’ve never seen trees and bushes grow so much in one season. Lots of these ridiculously long branches can’t even support their own weight and are bowing over like old wilting bouquets of flowers. If some of these are not trimmed back, they will simply snap under heavy snows. But before you start hacking away, do your research and/or consult an expert for recommendations on the species in your yard.

Remove diseased foliage
Another side effect of our abundant spring and summer rains is moldy foliage. Moldy anything is the nasty gift that just keeps giving unless you stop it. Cut out and dispose of all moldy or otherwise diseased foliage. Be sure to clean your tools afterwards or you will spread this bounty of yuckiness to your other plants.

Clean gutters
If you have trees close to your house that overhanging the roofline, chances are their leaves will really be blocking your gutters this year. Again, you can thank our wild spring growth for this abundance. It may be the year to hire expert tree trimmers to sculpt their growth away from your home.

Schedule sprinkler system blow out
This year it is especially important to book sprinkler system winterizations early as some companies that provide this service have closed or lost employees due to the pandemic. As a general rule of thumb you should shut down your system around Halloween. However, if it goes down to below 28 degrees before then, make sure to cover your backflow preventer (located outside of your home) to keep it from freezing. (Goggle “residential backflow preventer” to identify this part.)

Seal crevices
Are there places around your home where little critters can skedaddle into your abode? This is the time of year when field mice like to come in and make themselves at home, so peruse the perimeter of your place to see if some areas need to be sealed up – unless you want a new free range pet, a pandemic pal. It’s always invigorating to see a field mouse scampering across your kitchen floor. Really gets the heart beating and the blood pumping.

Hang storm windows
For those with homes with storm windows, now it the time to wrestle them out of storage and clean them before hanging. Be sure to check your weather stripping. This stuff gets gunky and gross and stops sticking well after a few years, so you may need a fresh application.

This will mean a trip to the hardware store. While you’re there you might as well buy some mums to put by your front door. You’ve been working hard. No doubt now that the bushes are trimmed back and all that diseased foliage is gone, things are really looking good at your place. You deserve some pretty mums. Enjoy fall while you can. Oh, and maybe pick up a little mouse food as well.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected] To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to athomecolorado.com/the-lighter-side.