Whether you’ve got a Victory Garden or simply like to maintain some architectural landscaping with a lawn, even in winter, you’ll want to maintain your yard’s good health and ensure its good looks when springtime comes around again. While, in many latitudes, snowfall often blankets the ground during the colder months, there are steps you can take to ensure that your garden’s sleepy season is unproblematic.
For those in warmer climates, winter is a season for relaxed maintenance and troubleshooting. Here are six great winter tips for yards in any locale.
Get Rid of Diseased Foliage
If you’ve got a vegetable garden or enjoy planting flowering annual foliage, as autumn moves into winter, pull up your non-perennial plants. Having a compost pile is fantastic, but take a look at what you’re putting into it. If there are any signs of disease on particular plants, don’t add them to the pile, but discard or burn them separately. Only healthy plants should be added to the compost, to keep from perpetuating fungal or other infections during the next growing season.
A Good Last Weeding
Before the ground is frozen solid for the winter, pull those weeds. This eliminates possible sites for insects to over-winter and also reduces the amount of time you’ll have to spend pulling weeds in the spring. Just because the foliage dies back doesn’t mean the root systems go the same way. If you’ve got an area that is terribly weedy and would take too much effort to weed by hand, cover it with black plastic and tack it in place. This will prevent those weeds from spreading their seeds with the springtime warmth.
Giving No Quarter
If you have flower or vegetable plots, after you’ve cleared the annual plants from the soil, gently till or “disturb” the soil. This exposes insects and their eggs to the harsher temperatures and will reduce your pest control needs when the growing season comes around again.
A Good, Long Drink
Water your flowering shrubs, perennial plants, and lawn before the first truly hard frost. Winter is a deceptively dry season, even in areas that receive a generous snowfall. The water doesn’t get to the roots and plants often experience hardship from this lack of moisture, which can reduce their springtime activity at first. A nice thorough watering before the truly deep cold will allow them to store up the necessary food for a rebound next year.
Tucking Everything In
While many herbs, flowers, and other plants are perennial, they can have differing needs for their winter slumber. Generally, trimming leggy growth back and providing a bit of mulch around the base of each plant is a great place to start. However, you may need to tailor your garden’s bedtime routine based on which growing zone you live in and what types of plants you have in your garden.
Grass and Trees
Mow your lawn as late into the season as it grows. If you leave longer grass under snow or in wet and frosty conditions, it can often be brown and patchy come springtime. If you have small trees or more delicate shrubs, protect them by encircling the trunk with a bit of snow fencing and packing the gap with straw.
No matter what sort of climate you live in, winter is a season that should not be ignored. Things don’t usually die—they rest and wait for spring to come. You can ensure that your yard is easy to revive and maintain when the warm weather returns by using late fall and winter as a time of preparation. The more you do before the deep cold arrives, the less you’ll have to do when it departs.
Dan Riggs has always loved landscaping and as a result, founded Scottsdale Tree Trimmers to pursue his passion doing Scottsdale tree trimming. Aside from tree trimming, Ryan also loves hiking and rock climbing at Camelback Mountain near Scottsdale.