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Top Tips For Winter GardeningDecember 22, 2018
Winter is coming. Although the fall season brings about a lot of reasons to get the inside of your home ready for friends and family, you can’t forget about what’s happening outside. Prepping your property for the winter to come should be on your list of priorities to take care of during these next few weeks. But when it comes to fall landscaping and gardening, there are a few rules of (green) thumb to follow. We’ll discuss some major dos and don’ts in today’s post.
- Rake Your Leaves: If you let the fallen leaves remain in your garden or on your lawn, the sunlight will be blocked. Your landscapers will tell you that this can make your plants and grass more vulnerable to mold or disease. But leaves do make great compost, so be sure to rake them up and put them to good use!
- Mulch, Water, and Mow: Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean everything immediately stops growing. Your grass will continue to grow until the first frost, which means you’ll need to keep mowing it. Since around 90% of Americans with a yard believe it’s important to keep their lawn well-maintained, don’t skimp on your fall lawn care. You’ll also need to keep watering your grass and plants so they can survive the long winter. Mulching will help with that, too. Adding the right amount of mulch will protect your professional landscaping job from extreme weather damage while still allowing in air.
- Plant Some Perennials: You might assume it’s better to plant everything in the spring, but landscapers and gardeners know that autumn is a great time to plant perennials. For one thing, the ground is much warmer in the fall than it is in early spring. This means these plants will actually grow until the temperatures drop and will continue to do so come spring.
- Do Any Pruning: There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, you should save your pruning until winter or until after blooming season in the spring. That’s because pruning actually encourages growth — which is the last thing you want before winter sets in. If you prune certain species during this time, they won’t bloom in spring! Trees can be pruned in the winter once they’ve gone dormant, while certain shrubs should be pruned only after their flowers have come and gone in the springtime.
- Leave Out Tools: This might seem obvious, but don’t forget to bring in your tools and put them away in a safe, dry place after you’ve finished all your landscaping tasks. It’s also a good idea to have equipment (like your lawn mower) serviced after the first frost comes. But keep in mind that while you might use some tools to plant during this season, they shouldn’t be left out to become damaged in the wet weather. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace them in a few months’ time!
- Deadhead Everything: You might be tempted to remove all stalks, seed heads, and other plant parts once they’re done blooming. But your landscapers (and environmentalists!) would tell you to hold off. While you should do this with certain plant species to prevent over-seeding, there are many others that can provide vital food for pollinators (like bees), birds, and other animals during a critical time of year. Food sources can be scarce during the winter, and if we want local habitats to survive, it’s important to do what you can to preserve them. They may not look pretty, but you’ll be supporting vital animal populations with your gardening decisions — and that’s probably more important.
Of course, there’s one big “do” we left out of this list: call your local landscapers! They can help you determine which jobs should be done during this season and which should be left until spring. For more information, get in touch with us today.