The winter season is an ideal time to prepare your lawn and landscaping for the inevitable growing season. Some thoughtful care now can make all the difference when the weather warms. On the other hand, neglect can lead to slow growth or worse. Read on to learn how to protect your plants and promote healthier growth this spring.
Clean Up Your Yard
It’s best to rake and remove leaves and debris from your yard to avoid damaging the grass and promote more sun exposure for a healthier lawn next summer. After cutting your lawn one last time in the fall, thoroughly clear the grass with a blower. Then rake as necessary to keep your grass free from debris.
If you don’t rake, leaves and other organic debris can smother your lawn and stymie the growth of new grass, or in some instances, kill it altogether. It can also promote disease conditions and invite mice, insects and other damaging pests.
Piled snow can also damage grass and starve nearby plants of oxygen. While you may not be able to remove snow from your entire law, you should promptly remove it from sensitive growing areas such as flower beds.
Adding mulch around plants, trees and shrubs can also add some valuable protection during the winter. A 2-inch layer of mulch will help reduce overall water loss and help promote a more uniform soil temperature around plant roots.
Trim and Prune
Late winter is a great time to prune your outdoor plants. Whenever you prune, you are essentially opening a fresh wound that will need to heal. By pruning before any spring growth starts, you are reducing stress on the plant and making it easier for it to heal.
Hedges and shrubs will leaf out faster in the spring if you do some hard pruning in the late winter. Tree branches damaged by ice storms and harsh winter weather are more vulnerable to disease and insect infestations. With proper care, you can help trees repair themselves. For best results, it’s important to use a pruning saw. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could seriously damage or kill your exterior plants. With this in mind, consider hiring professional landscapers if you don’t have a lot of experience trimming and pruning.
To help prevent heavy snows from damaging your trees in the winter, be sure to brush snow from weighted down branches. Avoid shaking them since this can promote cracking and breakage. If you have any tree branches that seem susceptible to heavy snow loads, consider tying them together. Since damaged trees are more vulnerable to disease, remove any limbs that might break during a heavy ice or snowstorm.
Keep Foot Traffic Off Your Lawn
Most homeowners take great pains to keep people off the lawns during the spring and summer when vegetation is in full bloom. When things turn cold and drab, however, they are often more willing to simply cut across their grass as they are moving from the sidewalk to the drive. Over time, this can wear down the grass, create muddy spots and stunt growth during the spring.
Part of good winter lawn care means dissuading people from walking across your lawn. Your grass will have a difficult time recovering if you or your family cut a path across it. Keep your pathways and sidewalks clear of snow, so people won’t feel compelled to walk on your grass. Obviously, you should also prevent visitors from parking on your lawn.
Don’t Use Too Much Salt
Rock salt and chemical ice-melt products can damage trees, plants and grass by drawing water from the roots. Be sure to flush out your soil to eliminate salt. You should also be careful to avoid piling salty snow onto your grass when you shovel your walkways and driveway. If you choose to use a de-icer, look for one made with calcium chloride, which isn’t quite as harmful as sodium chloride-based ice-melting products.
Whether you need professional winter lawn care or expert guidance helping your plants recover from harsh cold weather, contact RMPS Landscaping in Castle Rock. With decades of experience, we provide a full spectrum of landscaping services for residential and commercial properties. Contact our attentive, knowledgeable team to learn more.