Time to get my act together

I can no longer deny it. Fall is here. I’ve been hanging onto summer as long as I can, but last week the temperatures DROPPED. As in, we had a windchill, and I wore my winter jacket, hat and mitts for Baxter’s and my morning walk.

So, it’s time.

Every year as fall rolls in, a list starts in my head. It’s not completely a do or die list, but it’s definitely a “winter is coming and you’d better get your act together” list.

So here we go: the fall to-do list.

The vegetable garden

Unhung garden gate

This was my biggest home goal for 2015, and before the year ends, there are a few more things I’d like to do.

  • Hang the gate – The gate has been hanging around unhung for long enough. We need to take a bit of time, sort out the hinges and just get this done.
  • Edge the garden – We have a huge pile of old fence posts, and my plan is to use them as kind of “curbs” to help keep the weeds out of the garden.
  • Put in raised beds – I’m going to use the rest of the fence posts to make a ring of shallow raised beds around the outside edge of the garden.
  • Spread manure – This is our chance to knock two tasks off our to-do list at one time: clean out the 17 stalls in the barn and fertilize the garden. The manure is well-aged since it’s been here since before we bought the farm.

The bird feeder

Bird feeder and pole

I love watching the birds from the dining room window, and feeder is the best way to attract them.

  • Reattach feeder bracket – Last year when we were hammering the bird feeder post into the ground, one of the brackets broke off. My cousin made the post for us originally, so I’m going to tap him to reweld the top bracket.
  • Install a sleeve for the post – To make sure we don’t have to hammer the post anymore, I’m going to put a length of pipe in the ground so that the post can just slide in every fall.


Downed tree at the edge of the field

This is our first fall with a fireplace, and we’re so looking forward to firing it up.

  • Put up another row of firewood – We have two rows of wood dried, split and stacked. I think we’ll need one more row to get us through fireplace season.
  • Tidy up the trees – Tree maintenance that’s an ongoing task at the farm–as demonstrated by the big tree above that came down over the weekend. Fortunately, we have a steady supply of firewood as a result.

Get Wiley ready for winter

Clearing snow with the tractor

Our handy-dandy tractor needs his annual tune-up.

  • Change the oil – More accurately, have my handy cousin change the oil for us.
  • Check the battery contacts – Wiley’s a bit reluctant to start sometimes. In the spring, we had a loose connection on the battery terminal, and my cousin made us a little sleeve to tighten up the clasp. Cold weather starts are even harder for Wiley, so we want to make sure we do everything to help him out.
  • Remove the mower deck – It’s that time of year again.

The house

Cleaning gutters with a leaf blower

There are a few things to do for the place where we actually live.

  • Take off the screens – The screens get so dusty during the summer, I’ve found it’s necessary to take them off and give them a good cleaning before it’s open window season again.
  • Clean the heat pump filter – I broke out the shop vac on Friday, figuring that we’d need to fire up the geothermal before the end of the weekend. Sure enough, as of last night the heat is on.
  • Clean out the gutters – Matt did round one last week, but we’ll need at least one more cleaning before the snow falls.
  • Turn off the water

I feel like I’ve been taking it easy for a little while when it comes to work around the farm. So step one to completing is to find my motivation. Any tips?

Obviously, some of these tasks are unique to the farm. But some of them are universal no matter where you live.

What’s on your fall to-do list? Are you feeling the pressure of impending winter?

Previous fall to-do lists:

6 thoughts on “Time to get my act together

  1. It is so bizarre to me that we live so far apart and we have such similar weather! (I guess, I don’t know exactly where you live, but Canada seems millions of miles away!) We had quite a cold snap last week too and it really made me start thinking about winter coming! We harvested the last of our tomatoes yesterday so we are ready to take out the tomato cages and remove all of the dead plants. We took our window air conditioners out and stored them away. I hope we have a few more good weekends because there is still plenty to do in the yard!

    • You’re not that far away. And in fact we’re fairly close in latitude, which might explain why we have similar temperatures. The upside that I’m trying to keep in mind is that it’s cooler, so it might be a bit easier to work outside than it is in the heat of summer.

  2. The main fall chores I would like to get done are cleaning up the veg garden and digging the carrots, and cleaning up nine flower beds. I should also mow the lawn again, and then winterize the mower. Should I still have any ambition, I should clean all the windows, and pack up all my summer clothes.

  3. I mowed the first half of the yard, after not mowing for about a month due to no rain. The rains were finally coming, and by the time I mowed the second half of the yard, about a week later, the first half needed mowing again! So now I have to mow the first half again. (Our yard is very large.) It would be good to weed the flowerbeds one more time and take out the annuals, then we need to rake, rake, rake and rake some more! Also take all the rakings to the compost place, which is challenging since we sold our truck this summer. The shed needs to be completely emptied and organized, and some cedar chairs that have broken beyond repair need to go to the dump.
    Inside, we’ve put film over the bathroom window, and have a couple more windows to do. Also I want to make some heavy curtains, like velvet or something, to help keep out the drafts. Our weather stripping around the door needs attention, and I’m going to make one of those long, stuffed tube things to block the draft at the bottom of the door. Also, our windows need cleaning, especially the one our cat uses to skritch on when he wants to come in.

    As for motivation….I’m definitely struggling with that one myself! The only thing I keep trying to tell myself is that it’s so much more invigorating to be out there than in the limp heat of summer, and that I’ll feel great each and every time I accomplish something. It’s true! But sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Good luck on your fall tasks! And enjoy the heck out of that fireplace for your bloggy friends who don’t have one 🙂

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