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A Beautiful Landscape Starts in the Fall

(ARA) – As the leaves start to turn, most homeowners put away their lawn and garden equipment as they wrap up landscaping projects before winter sets in. However, fall is actually a great time to start landscaping projects, because a beautiful lawn and garden next year starts with preparations this fall.

Every year, a lot of time, money and effort is devoted to the pursuit of a beautiful and well-maintained home landscape. According to the 2006 American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average of two hours per day on lawn and garden maintenance.

While a beautiful yard won’t magically appear out of thin air, there are ways you can better utilize the time, money and energy you spend on maintenance. Keep these tips in mind when tackling the landscape for fall and winter.

  • Rake and clean up leaves. If left scattered on the lawn, grass won’t come up as well in the spring. Don’t worry about removing leaves from plant beds, they actually help insulate and feed plants during the winter months.
  • Clean out rain gutters and make sure water will flow away from walkways and driveways, which could ice over and become hazardous in the winter.
  • Shut off water to all outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Plant perennial flowers, ground covers, spring bulbs, trees and shrubs in early fall so they have time to establish strong and healthy roots. Some of the best sales on perennials are in August and September when greenhouses are trying to close out their inventories.
  • Mulch your plant beds, except iris rhizomes, which are prone to rotting. A layer of organic mulch will help roots get established before the ground freezes solid. Mulch also helps to retain soil moisture and prevent future weed growth.
  • Find accessories or attachments that enhance the equipment you already own. Zero turn mowers and ATVs have become versatile landscaping machines with the abundance of new attachments now available.

Take for example, the SnowSport ATV Plow manufactured by Agri-Cover, Inc., a North Dakota truck accessory company. This utility plow is made specifically for ATVs and can be used 365 days a year for not only landscaping projects, but also snow removal. With a SnowSport ATV Plow a homeowner can easily level, spread or push dirt, gravel and snow anytime of the year. You don’t have to worry about your lawn with this plow, because it is specifically designed to be turf-friendly.

However, your lawn and plant beds may not be the only items that need to be readied for winter. If you live in a rural area, the maintenance of a gravel driveway may also be on your fall to-do list before the winter winds start to blow.

Mark Jacobson, a retired teacher from Spiritwood Lake, N.D. knows he faces the daunting task of leveling his steep gravel driveway every fall to get rid of deep ruts left by rainstorms and water run off.

‘I wanted something that would make the job quicker and without the back breaking work of shoveling the gravel. When I came across the SnowSport ATV plow I thought it was a perfect fit for my project. Besides, in a couple more months I can use it to plow snow out of the same driveway,’ says Jacobson.

The SnowSport ATV Plow is available in five different blade lengths and has a three-point angled blade, which allows users to maneuver those hard to reach areas in the yard and driveway. The blade connects to your ATV by a 1 1/2-inch interceptor that slides into a front mount, so there’s no tricky wiring or complicated install. The blade is made of corrosion resistant anodized aluminum, making it easy for anyone in the family to lift on and off the mount. The blade also features a one-inch thick rubber cutting edge designed to improve scraping ability. For more information on the SnowSport ATV Plow or to find a dealer near you, call (888) 463-6214 or visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

For home improvement advice, visit JS West Lumber & Ace Hardware Sonora, Ca. or visit and click on the Answers@Ace icon. Answers@Ace is an online resource with information for do-it-yourselfers about hardware and home improvement projects. The Everyday Projects section has pictures and detailed, step-by-step instructions for this and many more home improvement projects.

To speak to an Ace Hardware advisor in Sonora call: 209 532 7446.