PREPARING YOUR LANDSCAPE FOR WINTER

Autumn is quickly ending, and with it much of your landscape is going to be getting ready for the long winter. However, it’s important to help the parts of your landscape get ready for winter. Not only will this result in a landscape that will spring up faster after the thaw, but it will also result in fewer casualties to your landscape’s various plants once winter releases them.

Clean the Gutters – Ensure that your gutters are clear of fall leaves, especially before the snow falls.  Otherwise you may have bigger problems as ice dams form.

Rake Up Leaves – A small number of leaves is not a problem, but you shouldn’t leave thick layers of leaves on your lawn.  This blocks sunlight and air from reaching your grass and also gives pests and diseases a place to overwinter.  Most cities offer curbside leaf removal, but the best thing you could do is reusing your leaves.  After a couple passes with the mower, the leaves should be tiny.  These tiny leaves acts as a natural fertilizer and weed control agent for your lawn and garden and the best part is that it’s free.  Use the chopped leaves as mulch in your garden beds or add it to your compost pile.

Fertilize & Over-seed Your Lawn – Early autumn is the best time to lightly fertilize your lawn to promote root growth and prepare it for the next growing season.  Use a turf builder or fertilizer meant for winterizing lawns.  It’s also a good time to over-seed your lawn so that it’s thicker and lusher next season.

Winterize Garden Beds – Remove debris and spent annuals to prevent plant diseases and pests from overwintering.  This is when most people would also cut back their perennials, but we recommend leaving perennials and ornamental grasses standing over the winter (as long as they’re not diseased) for several reasons.  First, this helps plants to complete their growing cycle, store up energy, and ensure winter survival.  Second, it provides shelter for butterflies, hibernating native bees, dormant spiders, and many other beneficial insects as well as providing a helpful food cache for birds. Third, it provides additional interest and beauty during the winter.

Winterize Your Irrigation – Standing water can freeze and crack drip-irrigation tubing.  For a simple system, shut the water off, unscrew the tap-joint adapter, and use a high-volume, low-pressure setting on a compressor to blow the water out of the system.  This is also the time to winterize your water feature.  This typically means draining the water and storing the pump for the winter.

Clean Your Tools –late autumn is the best time to clean your tools. Drain out the gas of your lawn mower and sharpen the blades.  Turn off the water for the hose and disconnect it from the spigot.  Clean your garden tools before storing them for winter.

Southwest Property care Services is here to handle all of your fall clean up needs. Our team help ensure that  client properties are kept well maintained, clean and tidy; and most importantly safe this fall season.