What’s Inside The Article?
The winter is coming. Sorry, it was too tempting and plain irresistible to use that cliched reference. Still, it is a fact. And since it’s unavoidable, it’s best to handle some tasks while the temperatures are still relatively pleasant. If you live in a house with a beautiful garden, you are so very lucky, but how to prepare your lawn for winter is the next thing to learn!
Even though the upcoming months demand some work on your part. However, working outside to prepare your backyard for winter, can even be enjoyable.
What is more, gardening is an excellent activity to preserve mental health. There is something about the warm fall colors bathed in the still-not-so-timid sunshine. Also, the tasks are not that labor-intensive, but they are highly rewarding.
How to prepare your lawn for winter?
Although it’s fall, you should cut the grass regularly until you notice it has stopped growing.
Many homeowners take great pride in their lush lawns and exuberant foliage. While in the summer, it takes but weekly mowing, occasional trimming, and regular watering to keep it lavish and green, the winter will necessitate a bit more work to care for your lawn. If you want your beautiful lawn to survive the cold months and revive in the spring, you have to give it some special attention now. Here is what you need to do:
- Aerate your lawn – this is an annual practice that helps the grass grow as it relieves soil compaction. If you want your grass to grow thick and strong, it needs air beside the water and nutrients.
- Seed cool-season grass – if you want your lawn to stay green during the winter, you can spread cool-season grass seeds. But remember, it may turn brown during the summer heat.
- Or reseed problematic areas – often, lawns have a few trouble spots that need extra help. Fall is a great time to reseed those bold spots due to more moisture and cooler temperatures. Just make sure to protect the seeds from birds by covering them with straw or mulch.
- Cut the grass – tall grass is a good place for pests seek refuge during the cold months. So, don’t retire your lawnmower until you notice the grass has stopped growing.
- Remove weeds – you can do it by hand, using a dandelion tool, or spot treating with herbicide.
- Fertilize – feed your lawn with the nutrients that will help it stay strong and healthy until spring.
- Spread compost – you can do it whenever and it will be helpful to your lawn. However, it is particularly beneficial after treating as compost will fill the gaps, and the rain will help spread the nutrients deeper into the soil.
Bonus tip: Stay away from salt – while salt is very helpful in melting the snow on your driveway and sidewalks, it is highly detrimental to your lawn and other plants.
How to prepare your garden plants for winter?
If you have other plants and trees in your backyard, they will also need some extra attention before winter.
Preserve moisture and water well
Although they are called evergreen for a reason, these plants are very susceptible to drying out. To prevent that, you have to water the plants well and even consider wrapping them with burlap. You can even spray an antidesiccant.
If you are experiencing a dry fall, you have to continue watering your plants until the temperatures go below zero.
Moreover, although some of your plants will go dormant during the fall and winter, it doesn’t mean they don’t need water. Especially if there is not much rain during the fall, water your plants until the temperature drops to the freezing point. And if you live in a warmer climate, you should water them throughout the winter if the rain doesn’t fall regularly.
Wrap the trees
When you prepare your backyard for winter, it’s important not to miss anything that will cause you trouble in the spring. Wrapping tree trunks will help prevent frost cracks. This happens due to sudden temperature changes in winter. The sun during the day will warm up the bark on the thin-barked tree species. But at night, the temperature will drop, quickly freezing the sap, and causing cracks in the bark. You can use a paper tree wrap for this. Start one inch from the ground and wrap all the way up till the first branches.
Pests and other small animals may use your bushes and other foliage to borrow during winter. To avoid that, use hardware cloth to surround your precious shrubs. Hardware cloth is wire-mesh screening that will prevent the animals from getting close to the plants.
Mulch is an excellent solution for protecting your plants from cold temperatures and harsh winter weather by keeping the soil temperature at a relatively even level. Also, it prevents soil heaving, which may push your plants out of the ground. You should add mulch around your trees and bushes when the ground hardens after the first freeze, but leave one or two inches between the trucks and wood stems, so the roots don’t begin rotting.
Cleanup is an essential part of preparing your backyard for winter
Some people may be tempted to use a leaf blower and push the leaves to the garden beds and wait for the spring when they will handle the big cleanup. While it is an easy way out, it is a viable option. As long as you remove the leaves from your lawn, you are fine. It is important to rake the leaves or otherwise collect them, so they don’t suffocate your grass. Also, you can use the leaves and grass clippings after mowing and use them as mulch or for compost.
It’s crucial to rake the leaves so they don’t smother your grass.
perennials, once they are spent, you should cut them back. It will prevent pest problems, and your garden will look more polished.
How to prepare your deck for winter?
If you have a beautiful garden, you likely have a deck too to enjoy the view from. And the deck also needs some work to prepare for winter, so it remains gorgeous after the harsh weather. Here is what you need to do:
- Clean the deck thoroughly, removing mold and dirt
- Wash it with a hose to eliminate all the dirt and debris
- Cover the deck with a tarp to protect it from snow
- Contact professionals if you notice any cracks and damage, so you avoid more significant issues after winter.
If you have a deck, you likely have some deck furniture, which also needs some protection. Of course, you should clean it and cover it with a tarp. However, it would be best to keep it inside until the next season. Consultants from professionalmover.ca say that many people who live in areas with harsh winters use their services to transport their garden furniture to a storage facility. If you have a shed or enough room in your garage or basement, you can place it there. But a storage unit is an excellent solution for those who lack the space.
How to prepare for the next growing season?
If you enjoy gardening or have a vegetable garden in your backyard, fall is the time to start preparing for the next growing season.
- Start your compost pile
- Store summer bulbs
- Collect seeds
- Clean and sharpen your garden tools
Prepare your backyard for winter, so spring maintenance is easier
If you do everything right come fall to prepare your backyard for winter, you will avoid many issues in the spring. Cleanup will be much easier, you won’t have to deal with possible pest issues, and your lawn and other plants will come back to life more lavish and beautiful than before.