Preparing Your Lawn And Garden For Winter? Tips To Save Time And Money
The leaves outside are beginning to change and the temperatures are getting ready to drop - Fall and Winter are right around the corner! Your beautiful backyard not only needs preparation for the beauty in the spring and summer months, but preventing damage early will prolong your lawn and garden life even more. Checking off the fall and winter maintenance can save you time and money when it comes to getting your yard and garden prepared for next year’s planting and general clean-up.
When it comes to lawn care, there’s plenty of work that can be done to prepare your lawn for the winter.
Mowing the lawn - Mowing the lawn not only creates a more presentable look, but creates an easier time for raking the leaves when they begin to fall.
Reseed bare spots - The cooler temperatures in fall and more abundant moisture make the conditions for reseeding a prime time. Scratch the surface to loosen the soil, sprinkle the grass seed, and cover with mulch or straw to prevent the birds from eating the seed. Keep the area moist until the grass is established.
Weeding - Removing weeds by hand or with a herbicide. It is most important for perennial weeds such as dandelions.
Fertilize & Spread Compost - A fall fertilization can help strengthen the lawn. Spreading compost in the fall is great because rain and moist weather will help spread nutrients further into the soil.
Starting your clean up and maintenance in the fall can save you so much time in the winter and the spring! Some things to do are:
Clean up yard and collect leaves - Pick up fallen fruit, remove dead annuals, and cut back spent perennials. This gives the garden a neater appearance and may reduce the chance of pests overwintering in the debris and causing problems next year. Raking the leaves so they don‘t smother the grass, or mow the leaves and collect clippings and leaves to add to your compost pile.
Pond and water fixture maintenance - If you have a pond or water fixture, remove fallen leaves and drain water by 25-50%. You can store the pumps indoors and add bacterial additive to the water to speed up the decomposition of organic materials.
Prepare for next growing season - A good rule of thumb is to clean and sharpen garden tools for next year’s use, as well as disconnecting and draining the garden hose. As well as wiping off outdoor furniture and storing under cover to prevent ruining it.
Lastly, taking the time to check your overall winter maintenance can ensure that your backyard, lawn, and garden will be safe during the cold temperatures. Here are some steps to follow:
Wrapping tree trunks to avoid frost cracking - This tactic prevents damage to thin bark trees when the sap warmed by the sun, freezes during the night. To wrap your tree, use paper tree wrap, starting an inch below soil level and up to the lowest branches. Secure your wrap with duct tape. Be sure to remove in the spring to allow new growth.
Preserve moisture and water well - You definitely want to make sure plants are watered well going into winter. Possibly put into consideration spraying with an antidesiccant or wrapping plants with a double layer of burlap to ensure moisture will be preserved. If you have a dry fall, you may need to water plants even after they start to go dormant. Make sure they're braced for winter in cold climates by watering until the ground freezes. In warm climates, water throughout the winter if rain is lacking.
Keeping your backyard beautiful is hard work, but can be made a little easier with some early preparation. Your lawn and garden will appreciate you setting them up for success, come this spring!