Depending on where you live, winters can be really harsh on your landscape, or, they might be very low maintenance. However, if you live in an area that gets very cold, wet, icy, or snowy in the winter, then there are a few things you might want to consider doing before the cold months hit.
How Do I Prepare My Landscaping for Winter?
Fertilize and Water
Most homeowners don’t realize that a yard still has needs during the winter months. In order to make sure your lawn has a fighting chance once spring comes, it’s important to keep your yard watered whenever temperatures are above 40F. Additionally, in the fall, you’ll want to lay down a fertilizer that contains phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. If you do this before the first freeze of the season, your yard will be nice and green and beautiful come spring time!
Mulch and Cover
If you have young trees or trees with thin bark coatings, you will want to consider covering them during the cold months in order to prevent the bark from discoloring or becoming damaged when frost occurs. Furthermore, it’s a smart idea to re-mulch your tree and garden beds so that they can help protect and insulate the roots of your plants and trees. You can even use the leaves that fall from your trees in autumn as mulch. They’re free and provide additional nutrients to your soil!
Can You Plant Landscaping in Winter?
Know your Zone
Depending on your location, it is definitely possible to landscape during or just before winter, in the fall. However, you will want to be mindful of your plant hardiness zone. It’s important to be sure you are planting things that can survive the winter climate.
Evergreens and Winter Blooms
If the ground isn’t frozen, you are certainly able and encouraged to plant and landscape even in the winter months. Maple trees and Evergreens are great trees to plant in the winter, and do well surviving in the cold. Depending on your latitude, there are also many plants that bloom in the winter, such as: Christmas roses, winter jasmine, witch-hazel, honey wort, winter honeysuckle, violets, and pansies.
Yard Work To Do in the Winter
Many homeowners fail to grasp the entire spectrum of what needs to be done before the winter hits their lawn. The emphasis here being that extreme cold and frost can do a lot of damage if you do not take the proper actions to prevent any winter catastrophes. How do you winterize your lawn, you ask? Well, again, the theme here is to protect things from frost and cold. Cutting your grass an inch or two shorter than normal for the winter months will help keep your grass from getting frostbitten and/or moldy. If you have sprinklers or hoses attached, you’ll want to be sure to drain them and disable them so that they don’t burst and leak all over the place. Of course, these are just a few examples; you will want to be sure to run through a checklist of these things and similar tasks before the winter comes if you’d like to save yourself a headache later.
Not much yard work needs to be done in the winter, but there are a few things you can do to keep your plants healthy and alive in the winter. If you have trees, it is recommended to prune your trees of any dead branches you can see now that the leaves are gone. Pruning leaves room and resources for your trees to grow nice and strong come springtime. You will also want to be sure to doing things like keeping your yard raked and free of debris, keeping it watered, and keeping ice melt and salt away from any plants you might have near walkways. Finally, you’ll want to to cover and protect or transplant any weak or cold-susceptible plants until it warms up again. Some flora simply just won’t stand a chance in the frosty months.
How do I know what my winter landscaping needs will be?
Because weather can vary so much from zone to zone, it’s hard to speak generally about how to prepare and maintain any given landscape. That being said, if you are a homeowner who enjoys having a well-maintained and designed landscape but just don’t have the knack or knowledge to do it yourself, you might want to consider utilizing the services of an online digital landscape design service. Landscape Architectural is one such landscape company, and their designers have the ability to design and implement a landscape design for your property that will match your climate zone and remove the guesswork from keeping your yard happy and healthy. To learn more about how the digital landscape design process works, please click here!