What Do I Need to Do to Prepare My Yard for Winter?
By Paul Dumaresq
There’s no question we love the warmer months, but fall’s cooler temperatures can actually make working outdoors more comfortable. There’s no question winter is coming. We can already feel it in the air when our trucks and trailers roll out in the early morning.
You’ve probably already started putting away the summer clothes and pulling out your bubble coats, boots and toques in preparation for old man winter. Now that October’s past, November is a great time to make sure your yard is ready for some snow coverage. Here are some things you’ll want to consider.
When it comes to lawn care, the most obvious thing is getting rid of the leaves that have started to fall, if you have trees on your property. However, for people who really care about maintaining an even, beautiful lawn, part of lawn care is also preparing that lawn for the next spring.
One thing you can do is mulch or grind your leaves. Another thing to consider is planting seeds for the next year if you want to ensure even more grass growth. Also, remember to keep cutting that grass. Even as temperatures cool, the grass can still grow, so just because you've started storing those shorts and bathing suits, doesn't mean it's time to put the lawnmower away!
If your property has some abundant plant life like trees, flowers, hedges and other natural landscape features, there's more work to do. If you’ve got perennials in your garden ( plants that regrow every year) then fall is a good time to start cutting or pruning back those plants as a preliminary bit of fall yard maintenance. You will prepare the plants to grow actively and evenly in the spring.
Unfortunately, other perennials to tend to are weeds. The fall cleanup is a good time to address this issue. Like your plants, weeds are shoring up nutrients and energy to survive the winter. But rather than pruning them to help this process along, use weed control compounds, which will now be even more efficiently delivered to the weeds to keep them at bay.
If you've been growing vegetables in a garden, your first order of business for garden care is harvesting everything. It's time to clear out that garden and prepare it for winter. However, the big thing for your garden care is adding nutrients. Nutrients can be in the form of lime in the soil, giving it a few months to get the pH levels up, or fertilizer like composted manure or store bought products. Try insulating weather-sensitive plants with a layer of straw or leaves.
Besides leaves, which should be raked if you don't want your lawn covered in rotting plant matter, dead wood is another issue. Take the time to examine your trees. If you see any branches that are clearly in danger of falling and no longer support the tree, cut them off. If they're too high up, don't ignore the problem, because higher branches can eventually fall farther, possibly even damaging your home. Call a professional who will have the equipment to handle this job.
Hedges and bushes, if they have been properly selected for our region, should be hardy enough that they don't need a lot of winter preparation like pruning. However, you might still want to scatter some mulch on the ground around them and give them a watering if the autumn has been particularly dry. You may also want to cover your hedges or bushes to protect them against the elements. Wrappings aren't a bad idea but do so with burlap or some other permeable material, not plastic. Plastic is airtight and can prevent moisture from coming in.
Water & Furniture
Finally, if you have sources of water, like taps for a hose, remember to turn off the water supply for the year. Water that freezes in the pipes and turns to ice can expand and potentially damage the pipework. Also remember to cover or store any outdoor furniture and remove any cushions.
We can help!
Whether it's help with your fall clean up, or snow removal once winter arrives, you can count on Jeff's Outdoor for a thorough, professional job, so that you don't have to worry about it!
Contact us and ask about our landscape maintenance and winter care services.