Preparing your yard and garden for the winter will provide many benefits come spring. Not only will your lawn and plants have a growing advantage once the weather warms up, you’ll also enjoy a head start when it comes to general maintenance and preparation in the new season. In this post we’ll go over a handful of things to take care of before the snow flies.
Having a general idea of when the first frost will hit your area and when the first snows typically fly will give you a chance to schedule your winterization efforts. Of course it’s impossible to forecast these events with pinpoint accuracy, but having an approximate understanding of your region’s weather patterns will ensure you get the job done before it’s too late.
A general clean up of your yard and garden will not only prepare your property for winter, it will give you a much needed head start in the spring. Store any garden hoses and turn off the water supply to outdoor taps to prevent pipes bursting during freezing weather. Put away any other gardening equipment to allow them to be useful for another year. Rake up leaves and compost any dead plant material that can harbour pests and molds. Trim any tree branches that can cause damage to your house or other structures if they break during the winter.
Weeds are good at being dormant over the winter and then rapidly outgrowing any desirable plants once the warm weather comes back. Give your yard and garden one last good weeding before the snow hits and remove the weeds from the area completely. Your decorative plants will thank you for it with robust spring growth.
Wrapping tree saplings and shrubs with burlap, fabric or even specialized cold weather tree blankets can protect them against frost, cold winds and snow while allowing sunlight to pass through. Newly planted trees should be protected for 2-5 winters. Shrubs may need protection every year depending on your area‘s climate. Adding a thick layer of mulch around the base of the tree or shrub will also protect their root systems.
The fall is a good time to till your garden and flower beds allowing the soil to be aerated and turned over. Once tilled, spread on a layer of compost and top it with a mulch of shredded leaves. This will protect the soil over the winter and allow organisms to begin processing the compost.