The Staff at McCarty Mulch & Stone on 7 helpful winter landscape tips.
Why would you allow your beautiful lawn to die under fall leaves and winter conditions after investing so much time into it? You wouldn’t, right?
Your landscape needs preparation for the winter months. This is so your grass can keep its nutrients, and your plants can protect their roots under the soil.
You may have heard of common winter landscape tips such as using mulch or clearing snow from branches. There is so much that you can do to ensure your yard will look its best, come springtime.
Keep reading to learn all our best tips to prepare your landscape for snow and freezing temperatures.
1. Clean Up Your Landscape
As we near the end of the fall season, cleaning up any dead leaves or plants is highly recommended. Raking your yard for leaves regularly helps to keep your grass healthy all winter and allows your grass to receive the sunlight it needs to survive the colder months.
Additionally, removing any debris or decaying plants will reduce the risk of killing healthy plants. You can consider applying this tip every season to keep your landscape looking clean.
2. Aerate Your Soil
Your lawn will look its best in the spring if you aerate before winter hits. Aeration breaks up compacted and dry soil so water and oxygen can go deeper.
When aeration is done in tandem with fertilization and overseeding, you will see even better results once the weather warms up. Give your lawn all it needs to thrive while it hibernates in the winter.
3. Fertilize Your Turf
The primary reason you should fertilize in the spring is simple: the morning dew that comes along with fall provides moisture, allowing the turf to absorb the fertilizer more easily. But there are more reasons than that.
Fertilizing your soil and your trees during the winter will ensure they have plenty of nutrients in the cold. The root growth that is encouraged by the fertilizer will assist your plants in having a healthy life come springtime.
Trees and shrubs that are fertilized in the winter are less likely to drop branches or wither compared to non-fertilized trees.
4. Lay Your Mulch
One of the best ways to protect your trees, shrubs, and other plants from the coming winter is by laying mulch in the fall. The mulch acts as a barrier from snow and frost. It also helps to control erosion around their bases.
Mulch also keeps the temperature of the beds from fluctuating too much. It protects the roots of your trees and plants and helps them keep their moisture.
Give your flower beds a few inches of mulch to protect your perennials from freezing. An extra tip: when you add mulch to the base of your trees and bushes, make it in the shape of a donut, not a volcano or mound.
The donut shape will discourage animals and others from digging or eating at the tree.
5. Trim and Cut Back
Fall is a great season to trim and prune your plants. For some species, it is a necessary chore to protect against diseases such as oak wilt and fire blight.
Be careful and know your plants while pruning, though. Some plants such as azaleas, lilacs, viburnum, and spirea prefer pruning in the spring. If you trim plants like this before winter, they may die in the cold.
This season may be the best time to trim back certain trees like evergreen and spruce. These leafy, deciduous trees may have grown large over the summer, and their branches can become heavy with snow if left alone.
6. Winterize the Irrigation System
As your winter landscape becomes frozen, so does your irrigation system. Winterizing your system is one of the only ways to prevent expensive repairs when the snow melts.
There are a few ways to stop your irrigation system from freezing. One of the most common ways is to use compressed air to blow it out. Also, be sure to cover the backflow preventer to protect it from hard frost that bursts pipes.
If you are unsure how to do any of this, it would be wise to contact an irrigation specialist or landscape expert to ask for advice in preparing your irrigation system for freezing weather.
7. Prepare For Snow
When it begins to snow, you want to make sure you are properly prepared, even beyond your lawn care.
One good way to do this is to find help. Consider contacting snow removal companies in your area that can remove snow and ice from your driveway and sidewalks.
You may also consider using salt to keep ice at bay. Be careful that you do not get salt anywhere near your plants. Salt and other melting agents can draw water away from the roots of plants and trees.
For more protection against the snow, you can tie branches together that might be in danger of heavy snow loads. You can also lightly brush snow off of lower branches and cut the ones that are going to break off.