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Fall Cleanup


Perhaps you recently moved into your first house with a lawn of your own to care for, or you’re already experienced with lawn care but let things get away from you this season. If you need help prioritizing, here are a few steps recommended by a variety of lawn care experts:

1. One last mow. Mow, and mow low as the season closes; there will be less grass left to turn brown in the winter, and will let the sun’s rays access the grass in the spring as early as possible.

2. Cut back unruly shrubs and branches and trim back perennials. The weight of the snow seems far away now, but soon it will be building up on–and breaking–branches if you don’t prepare, and tangles of perennials make inviting homes for pests, so it’s better to cut back now.

3. Fertilize the lawn. This is more important now than in the spring! You can help your lawn get a leg up on new growth and establish deep roots to support next year’s growth.

4. Rake. You can bag some leaves in biodegradable bags for city pickup, rake some around flowering plants for a little extra winter protection, and compost some for your spring garden.

5. Clean your gutters. Again, if your gutters are full of dry leaves now, they’ll soon be sodden with snow and ice, which can interfere with the drainage they are there for. So clean them out now in autumn weather so you won’t have to deal with a more troubling issue when the temperatures turn frigid.

So the yard’s cleaned up. Now, how to dispose of the waste? If it includes grass clippings, leaves, branches, or small stumps, you can leave them curbside on your regular waste pickup day.

Please note that grass and leaves must be placed in a biodegradable paper bag and placed curbside the evening prior to day of collection. Branches must be bundled and tied together; should not exceed 4 feet long

Biodegradable waste bags are available from the city of Albany at several locations for the cost of 3 for a dollar.

If your fall cleaning goes beyond picking up the yard and you have electronics to dispose of, which can no longer be left curbside, contact Albany Recycles for drop-off information. And there’s one more hazardous household wastes drop-off day left in the season, on October 19th. Contact the Department of General Services at (518) 434-CITY (2489) to pre-register.

And if you’re eager to learn more about fall foliage, or purchase some plants to restock your garden for next year, a short drive from Albany will take you to the Landis Aroboretum, which runs a fall plant sale and regular education programs throughout the year.