Tips for Protecting Your Landscape During the Winter Season
Winterizing Your Landscape
Winter can be a dangerous period for your outdoor landscape. The drop in temperature, coupled with the occasional bouts of extreme weather can put plants, lawn, sprinkler systems, and more at risk. It is important that you winterize your landscape so you can minimize the amount of damage. Prepare for the upcoming winter season doing the following things as soon as you can.
Water Everything Before Winter Arrives
There are a number of homeowners who fail to properly water their landscapes before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive. After the summer concludes, some people think that they do not have to water their plants as frequently, since the dry weather is mostly gone. You should water everything before winter hits, so your lawn, plants, and trees go into the stressful winter season as healthy as possible. By properly watering everything your plants will be able to benefit from the water stored in the soil, even after the cold air settles in. Best of all, since the weather is not as dry during the winter, the moisture will stick around for longer periods of time. Do not rely on melted snow for help, since the water will probably run off when the ground freezes up.
Apply Mulch for Protection
Mulch is an important tool that can help you protect your lawn and plants when the weather gets colder. Layers of mulch can provide insulation for the roots of your plants, and will help keep them warm when harsh winds pick up. Mulch can also keep a significant amount of water from being lost during this period. Typically, applying 2-inch to 3-inch layers of mulch is a recommended strategy. If you have applied mulch to your landscape in the past, it would be wise to check and see if more needs to be applied. This is because mulch tends to get worn out over the course of the year.
Preparing for Snow & Ice
During the winter, snow and ice will pose some of the biggest issues for your landscape. For example, snow can suffocate your lawn if it sits around for long periods of time. You should formulate a plan for dealing with snow and ice so no major issues take place over the winter. Before you start shoveling snow, think about a place you can move it where it cannot do damage. Be wary of using certain brands of melting agents, because while they can melt snow, some can also harm your plants. It would also be wise to cut down weak branches from your trees, because they will break off anyway if too much snow piles up on them.
Have a Sprinkler System? Winterize It
If your landscape has a sprinkler system in it, you absolutely need to have it winterized. The soil is susceptible to freezing, and if the frost goes down too far it can put extreme pressure on the pipes and sprinklers in your system. If these parts break, you end up creating very serious and expensive problems for your landscape, including burst pipes. This is why it is important for you to drain your sprinkler system before the winter arrives so you can avoid this problem. You can do this process yourself, but it is recommended that you work with a professional landscaping company to get this job done. We have plenty of experience working on these systems, so contact Hillsborough Irrigation if you need help blowing out your sprinkler system.
What Else Should You Do?
In addition to the things mentioned above, you should make an attempt to do a few other things before winter arrives.
- Cut your lawn to a length of 2” to 2.5” before winter starts. This helps protect new growths in the lawn, while also protecting the landscape from various pests.
- Try to avoid using salt to melt ice and snow. Salt can be harmful to plants, and it can erode your concrete patios if it is applied excessively.
- Antitranspirants can also be helpful during this time of year. They help to prevent water loss on the leaves.
- Rake up any leftover debris from the fall season. A buildup of junk in your landscape could possibly smother and kill the lawn.
If you need help winterizing your lawn, Hillsborough Irrigation & Landscape Services can help you.