Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winterizing Your Landscape


The trees have shed their leaves, grass has gone to sleep, and the temps are dropping rapidly! Winter might seem like the time to sit back and relax as the snow begins to cover your yard, but it’s also a great time to be proactive with your plantings. What you do in the winter may very well influence the condition of your property when spring rolls around. Here are some tips to help maintain your planting investments until the thaw!

1. Stow your annuals and fragile plants indoors! Every plant has different needs for storage, so be sure to research the ideal conditions before you dig them up. Sensitive bulbs like dahlias will do best in a cool, dark location, such as your basement. Annuals like begonias will do well if you have a closed-in porch with windows, or a greenhouse. Replacing plants can become costly in from year-to-year, so it’s a great idea to put in this extra step to ensure they last the winter.

2. Bundle up your shrubs and bushes! New England winters can be harsh and unforgiving with biting winds and deep snows. They really take a toll on everything in your landscape. There are plenty of options that will give your shrubs and bushes extra protection and insulation during the winter months. If you have a budget, you can purchase ready-mades such as fleece jackets or cones. If you are more of a DIYer, try burlap or landscape fabric. Make sure you secure them so they don’t blow away!

3. Protect new growth! If you have just planted perennials or a new flower bed this year, extra coverage during the winter can go a long way in establishing them for years to come. Prevention.com recommends a garden cloche, which can be purchased from Amazon. Be sure to measure and secure any coverings in preparation for those winter winds.

4. Trim and prune! Winter is a great time to give some much-needed maintenance to the shrubs and bushes in your yard. In addition, it promotes fast regrowth in the spring. Remove dead leaves and stalks, and be sure to research the best pruning practices for your respective plant life. Not all shrubs are created equal, though in general you should first prune out the dead or diseased branches, then remove the overgrown and smaller branches. This increases light and air at the crown of the plant. Try to cut branches at the node; the point at which one branch attaches to another. Visit the Farmer’s Almanac for some helpful guidelines on pruning!

5. Wrap up tree bark! This is especially important if you are trying to establish new trees. Not only is their thin bark susceptible to changing winter temps, but it is also susceptible to rodents and other creatures looking for a tasty winter snack. Like shrubs and bushes, you can use burlap or landscape fabric to wrap them up, or you can use tree wrap tape and plastic tree protectors.

As always, it is important to research and understand each plant comprising your landscape. Rose bushes require different maintenance than evergreens and deciduous plants, and so forth. There is plenty of free information right at your fingertips. To get you started, below find some winterizing guides we at Pro-Turf really enjoyed. Happy Holidays!

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