As the temperatures begin to drop and the days become shorter, there is no denying that winter is on its way. Many homeowners spend countless hours creating and maintaining a beautiful landscaping design for their property. While much of your landscaping may be covered in snow during the winter, there is still a lot of work to do in the fall to make sure that your landscaping is protected from the harsh cold weather.
Most trees, bushes, and plants go into a dormant state during the winter, but they aren’t exempt from damage from cold winds and freezing temperatures. Taking the time in the fall to properly prepare your property for the winter can help reduce your workload in the spring.
Whether you are concerned with the health of your lawn or want to winterize your irrigation system, there are specific steps that you can take to prepare your landscaping for the winter. For larger jobs, you can call in the experts at Malone’s Landscape to give you a hand and expert advice. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways to prepare your landscaping for the winter.
Clear Fall Leaves
Autumn can be a lovely and colorful time of year. However, it’s important to the health of your lawn to clear up fallen leaves before the first snowfall. When you don’t clear your lawn of leaves in the fall, it can create brown spots in the spring. Piles of leaves left on your lawn can create an unwanted habitat for mice and insects that can cause a problem in the spring. If raking is too large of a chore, you can try mulching your fallen leaves to create a thinner layer of nutrients for your lawn.
Your landscaping trees can be particularly vulnerable during the winter. A buildup of ice and road salt can cause damage to your unprotected trees. There are also many small critters like mice that can infest your unprotected trees. Installing a rodent guard to the base of your trees can help protect them from mice and rabbits. Your alpine trees can be damaged from frigid winds during the winter and can benefit from being wrapped in a protective layer of burlap.
If you want your lawnmower to be ready to use in the spring without any mechanical issues, you will need to do some winter maintenance. Before putting your mower away for the winter, you should change the oil and drain out the gasoline. You should also sharpen your mower blades before the cold weather hits. For your last grass trimming, you should lower your blade to get a closer cut. Leaving your grass too long before winter can cause clumping and root damage.
If you don’t properly winterize your automatic irrigation systems before the winter, you can risk serious damage. Water that is left in the hoses or pipes can freeze in the cold temperatures and cause a break in the lines. It’s important that you drain your irrigation system and insulate your pump for the best protection over the long winter.
Winter storms and heavy snow can be damaging to your landscaping trees. Before the snow starts to fly, it’s a good idea to get out your trimmer and prune back your trees and bushes. Remove any dead or broken limbs that could create a dangerous hazard to your home and family. Trim back any branches that are hanging over your home or power lines.
Your trees are easier to trim in the fall once the leaves have fallen and the shape of the tree becomes clearer.
Fall is a great time to start adding extra nutrients to your lawn. During the long winter, you want to ensure that your lawn has been properly fed before the first deep frost. Adding extra fertilizer to your lawn during the fall can help the roots to grow strong and deep, making them more resistant to winter damage. The extra nutrients in fertilizer can help your lawn be prepared to grow easily in the spring.
Your trees and bushes also need extra care before the fall. Shrubs, ornamental trees, and woody-stemmed plants don’t go into dormancy until after the ground freezes. The fall is a great time to feed your trees and bushes with deep root fertilization. This will help them to stay nourished during the winter, fight off insect infestation, and avoid disease.
Planting new trees and shrubs is not only for the springtime. Tree and plant roots can grow deep into the soil during the fall, making this a great time to expand your garden. For the best planting and rooting, you need to make sure that the soil is sufficiently watered.
The more protection that you can give your landscaping from the cold winter weather, the better they will fare. Adding a thick layer of mulch to your landscaping in the fall will give them better protection from the dry cold conditions in the winter. This extra layer of insulation can help keep delicate root systems from sustaining damage during the freeze and thaw cycles of the seasons. A thick layer of mulch on your gardens in the fall can reduce the presence of weeds in the spring.
Winter winds and dry air can be tough on your evergreen trees. Very little moisture is available to your evergreen trees in the winter, and they often need to absorb air from the atmosphere around them. This exposure to dry air can be damaging to your evergreen trees and cause their needles and leaves to become desiccated. To avoid the loss of your evergreen leaves, you can spray an anti-desiccant spray for protection. This spray creates a waxy layer over the delicate needles and protects them from damage.
If you are concerned about winter’s effects on your landscaping, the fall is the time to get to work. With a bit of effort, you can protect your trees, bushes, and plants from damage during the winter season. While your landscaping is blanketed with snow, you want to ensure that it has been properly nourished to create strong root systems and plants that are ready to grow in the spring.