Who says you have to wait till spring to enjoy your outdoor space? In our last article, we talked about what types of trees, plants, and flowers can work during the winter months in southeastern Pennsylvania, including using pots and boxes to introduce color when planting isn’t advisable.
In this second part of our winter landscaping discussion, we’ll focus on how to maintain your outdoor spaces to keep them in top shape for the upcoming warmer weather of spring.
Here are our top seven tips for winter landscaping maintenance:
1. Don’t put away the rake. Just because fall is over and there aren’t towering piles of leaves to tame, you’re not off the hook with raking. It’s important to continue to rake during the winter months to keep your lawn clear of plant debris. If leaves and debris accumulate, and especially if they get weighted down with snow, it can create the conditions for mold and fungus to grow and damage your lawn.
2. Cut it close. During winter months, your lawn should be kept even shorter than it is in other seasons—at least an inch shorter. Not only will this help prevent the problem mentioned above with mold and fungus finding a place to grow under bent blades of grass, but it will also leave less space for mice and other creatures to dig nests in your lawn.
3. Water matters. Your plants, shrubs, and lawn still need water during winter months. Continue to keep them irrigated through this season, holding off for a day or two only if there’s a freeze.
4. Tend your trees. If you have younger trees with thinner bark, wrap them for the winter months to protect them. Also, take advantage of the lack of leaves to prune your trees, trimming away the dead branches to make way for the new and healthy growth to come.
5. Protect tree beds and gardens. You can protect your tree beds and gardens from frost easily and inexpensively with mulch. Also, be careful with your usage of salt products on walkways and driveways, as they can be damaging to lawns and plants.
6. Winterize your irrigation systems. Sprinklers and other outdoor irrigation systems should be turned off before freezing temperatures arrive, leaving enough time for water to drain completely out of them. If you haven’t done this yet, take advantage of the next warmer day to take care of it. A landscaping professional in Montgomery County PA can help you use compressed air to ensure there is no water left in your pipes. It’s important that your pipes be water-free, as any remaining water can freeze, expand, and cause the pipes to burst.
7. Don’t create dead zones. If you want your lawn to be uniformly healthy come spring, avoid weighting down any one area during the winter, whether by leaving objects on it (like furniture, vehicles, or fallen tree branches), or wearing down a path with foot traffic.
Be sure to check in with a trusted landscaping professional if you have any questions about maintaining your outdoor space in the winter months!