Tips on Landscaping Your Property During the Winter Months
by Brenda Vollman on Sep 13, 2021
As the winter season approaches, it is advisable to ensure that your lawns are well catered for and designed to the extent of overcoming the tough cold season. However, this can only be achieved in instances where the lawn owner understands their lawn needs and applies the prerequisite skills to manage the lawn. To those who may not have the basic understanding of how to take care of their lawns, this article will lay down some of the essential tips and skills you should consider applying.
Always Know your Zone
Having a basic understanding of your location and zone can play an integral role in determining the types of plants to plant on your lawn before, during, and after the winter season. For example, if you are located in Zone 5a, it is advisable to grow plants that can withstand average temperatures of -10 to -20 Fahrenheit. On the other hand, if you are located in Zone 10, you can plant plants that can withstand 30 to 40 Fahrenheit temperatures. Such plants may include bougainvillea species.
Fertilize your Lawn
When winter hits, the probability of losing your vegetation to the cold temperatures is high, more so in instances where the foliage on your lawn is not meant to withstand freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is of the essence to provide a form of cushion to your plants. This can be achieved by utilizing fertilizers that are rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. You can do this before the first freeze, as it will help your lawn grow green and rich when the spring season commences.
Even though most lawn owners usually rake in the fall season, it is advisable to keep raking over the winter season as well. This can be based on the fact that some plants will wither during the winter season, thus leading to debris build-up. When this debris gets mixed up with snow, mold, and fungus will eventually form. Therefore, if you fail to rake during the winter season, the chances are high that you will destroy your lawn.
Always Keep Your Grass Short
It is usually advisable to cut your grass short a few weeks before winter hits. As a rule of thumb, always ensure that your grass is at least 1-2 inches shorter than usual. This is vital because it reduces the probability of your plants suffering frostbite and snow mold. Additionally, you also reduce the likelihood of mice digging nests in the grass in search of warmer places to stay.
Snow Clearing Tactics
When the snow starts falling heavily, most of the impacted plants are those with weak and low branches. If you have branches that you believe will be affected by snow, it is advisable to tie them together as this increases their survival rates. Additionally, when removing snow from these branches, always do so by brushing the snow off rather than shaking the limbs. Shaking the branches can make them break, thus destroying your plants and your landscape. In addition, when you have broken branches in your lawn, you expose the other plants to diseases.
Plant Winter-Blooming Flowers
Not many plants will blossom during the winter period. On the contrary, most plants will wait till Spring to blossom. However, some plants will thrive during the winter and still maintain the same beauty during Spring. A pivotal point to consider when planting these plants is your zonal map and latitude. For example, some plants may do better in zones where temperatures fall to as low as -40, while others may need warmers temperatures. If you plan to include these flowers on your landscape, you may consider flowers such as Winter Jasmine, Honey wort, Christmas Roses, and Sweet Alyssum.
Add a Layer of Mulch
When you add a layer of mulch around your trees, shrubs, and plants, you provide your landscape with an extra layer of protection that helps control water loss and soil erosion. Additionally, when you put in place an additional 2 inches of mulch on your landscape, you maintain a uniform temperature in your soil and around the roots of your plants. This will keep your plants warm throughout the winter season and promote blossoming once the winter season is over.
Cover Your Thin-Barked Trees
Frost and sunscald are common during the winter season and can easily damage your plants. It is, therefore, advisable to wrap your younger trees with light-colored wrappings, which can prevent sunscald and control ice frost.
Avoid Using Too Much Salt
Ice melting products such as rock salt have been used by many lawn owners to melt ice. As crucial as these ice melting products may be, using them in their required amounts is vital as a failure to do so may lead to plant destruction. This is because the presence of high levels of salt may drain water from the soil, thus starving your plants of water. Therefore, when using ice-melting salt, always ensure that you flush out your soil and avoid piling salt-filled snow along with your lawns. It is also of the essence to remember that deicers made from calcium chloride are less harmful compared to those made from sodium chloride. Therefore, always consider your plants before deciding which de-icers to use.
Always Water Your Lawn
The wetness that comes with winter should not make you comfortable to the extent of forgetting to water your lawn. On the contrary, you should always ensure that your landscape is well-watered and your plants are well hydrated. A failure to do so will result in increased susceptibility to diseases and destruction to your plants.
Prune Your Plants
Pruning your plants makes it easier for the plants to sprout once Spring begins. However, you should bear in mind that the pruning period determines the probability of your plants sprouting to life. As a word of advice, always prune your plants during the last few weeks of winter. This will give your plants ample time to heal, and by the time Spring commences, your plants have already started sprouting.
You can easily implement the aforementioned tips on your landscape through do-it-yourself procedures. However, if you are a busy person, you may consider incorporating the services of a landscaping company. These companies have professionals specifically trained to manage your landscape throughout the year regardless of the season.
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