Winterize Your Yard

When there is a chill in the air, you know winter is on its way. You’ve taken care of winterizing your house, but don’t forget to winterize your yard--and that includes plants, trees, lawns, and irrigation systems, too.

Lawn

In order to keep your lawn as nice and healthy as possible for next spring, here are some pointers to keep in mind.

  • Mow and fertilize regularly until the grass stops growing
  • Aerate the lawn
  • Reseed any bare spots
  • If not reseeding, consider using selective herbicides to prevent weeds
  • Rake fallen leaves—but leave some behind to act as a natural fertilizer

Flower and Vegetable Gardens

Prepare your perennials and garden beds to be their best next spring by taking action before the soil freezes.

  • Divide and replant perennials not in bloom
  • Remove dead growth and blossoms to avoid insect infestation
  • Remove—and do not compost—any diseased growth from flowers and vegetables
  • Bury remaining vegetable growth in the soil
  • Till the soil, adding lime if necessary
  • Layer 1 to 2 in. compost or mulch over the entire garden bed

Bushes, Trees, and Shrubs

Different bushes, trees, and shrubs require different levels of pre-winter maintenance, while some require none at all.

  • Shield new plant grafts with mounds of compost, or wrap them in leaf-filled burlap
  • Wrap rose bushes securely with burlap, and fill with straw
  • Prune trees
  • Create simple pole and burlap shelters for delicate shrubbery
  • Spread a 2- or 3-inch layer of mulch around tree bases, not touching the trunk
  • Consider spraying plants that are sensitive to water damage with a desiccant
  • Leave evergreen shrubs and trees as they are

Watering and Irrigation Systems

If you don’t empty irrigation systems before freezing temperatures hit, you could end up with burst hoses and pipes. Make sure to ready your hoses and irrigation systems for the winter.

  • Drain garden hoses
  • Store hoses in the shed or garage
  • Empty the irrigation system by draining or blowing out the water
  • Disconnect water and air pressure systems leading to irrigation pipes
  • Leave irrigation valves open slightly to avoid pressure build-up

Prepare for Deicing

Deicing with salt or other chemicals can be very hard on your garden and pathways. Here are some tips to take care of them.

  • Add gypsum to absorb sodium in salt-laden soil
  • Cover garden beds along the driveway with plastic
  • Wrap salt- and chemical-sensitive plants with plastic or burlap
  • Consider applying a sealant to brick or cement walkways and driveways
  • Cover delicate sections of brick and tile with sheets of plastic

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