LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –
Crunchy leaves and changing colors mean fall has arrived in southern Alberta, and Environment Lethbridge is reminding residents to get ready for the shifting conditions.
“We’re all probably reaching for the thermostat again this week,” said Kathleen Sheppard, executive director of Environment Lethbridge.
“So, if you have a programmable thermostat, now is a great time to program it for winter or just a time to build up that habit of turning down the heat when you’re not in your home or you’re sleeping to save that bit of energy.”
Sheppard says cleaning your furnace filter before turning on the heat is another key step.
With cooler temperatures throughout the evening and overnight, Sheppard says ensuring doors and windows are properly sealed can have a big effect on energy consumption.
“Energy prices are getting higher and you don’t want to be paying to heat the neighborhood if you can avoid it,” said Sheppard.
Despite the slight drop in temperatures, Country Blooms Garden Center owner Erich Dyck says it’s still too early to put away your gardening hose.
“Continue to make sure that all your plants are hydrated,” said Dyck.
“Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean they shut down. Heading into the winter season as well, following fall, plants still require a certain amount of hydration.
“Lots of people tend not to water their plants after the cooler weather comes, but that really affects them and can cause them to die.”
As for shrubs and trees, Dyck says planting those at this time of the year is fine, but annuals and perennials are done for the season.
Dyck says only cedars need to be covered throughout the winter.
“Keep an eye on your garden. Just because it’s dormant doesn’t mean that it is not alive — it still is alive,” said Dyck.
“Your evergreens, especially, are alive and need to be looked after once in a while. Just keep an eye on things. Just because (your) garden goes dormant doesn’t mean you need to go dormant as well.”
Sheppard says leaving some leaves when cleaning up your yard can be beneficial for smaller critters and insects like lady bugs and butterflies.
“Thinking about your drain spouts and eavestroughs, this is the time of year that they get filled up with leaves or that kind of thing, so just doing that basic maintenance before things get really cold can help a lot,” said Sheppard.
The city’s yard waste sites will remain open until Nov. 14.