The sun-lovers will lament and those who embrace the return of cooler days will rejoice, but the fact is we are rounding the final weeks of Summer. It is time to think about transitioning from backyard barbecue space to fall cleanup and preparation for the colder months.

There are number of things to pay attention to as we prepare for Fall cleanups. Here is a concise checklist to think about.

Final mowing: When we start making the final preparations for Fall you will want to give the lawn a thorough going-over. Get the turf down to about 1 and ΒΌ inches, but do not go too low. Grass makes most of its nutrients in the upper blade. But it is important to get the turf cut back.

Keeping it cut back helps prevent diseases which afflict grass. Cutting the lawn back also makes it easier for fallen leaves to blow across with nothing to latch on to.

Aerate: Breaking up the soil to prevent water from pooling makes it possible for nutrients to reach your lawn and garden over the Winter. A simple garden fork will suffice for small plots, but if you have a large yard or garden, you may need a walk-behind aerator.

Clean out debris: Fallen leaves and over-grown weeds make for ideal hiding places for insects and other pests. Simply going around the lawn and garden to make sure things are raked out and clean will make it difficult for pests to get a foothold in your lawn and garden.

Till the vegetable garden: Once you have gathered the final harvest, clear and till the entire plot. Just turning things over for the Fall and Winter will ensure the plot is ready for planting next year. If you compost, this is an ideal time to put down a layer of compost.

You do not need to spend a week prepping for the colder months, but it does make sense to put in some final days of garden work to get ready for Fall. These few tips should render your garden and lawn in good stead for the happy return of Spring.