When it comes to yard care, what you do in one season can dramatically affect the following seasons. This is no more evident than when winter rolls around. Before the ground freezes and becomes covered by snow, it’s important to prepare your yard for winter, so it has a good foundation to grow on next spring. Ready to get started? Here are five must-do winter yard care projects that will pay off big rewards after the thaw.
#1: Clear Away Dead Plants
When annuals start dying off in fall, they can develop diseases that will lie dormant over the winter. If the plants aren’t removed, then those diseases will bounce back to life in the spring and spread to your new plants. Therefore, removing all the dead plants from your garden and burning them or throwing them in the trash is essential for keeping plant diseases in check next year. Do not put the dead plants in your compost pile because the diseases can spread back to your new plants through the compost.
#2: Prune Perennials and Mulch
Prune back any perennials in your yard to protect their extremities from the biting cold. This includes trimming back the limbs on your trees, especially those that are close to or overhang your house. This is also the right time to add a fresh layer of mulch around the base of your perennials to help insulate and protect the plants’ roots from the deadly cold. If you are thinking about transplanting any of your perennials, then this is also the time you’ll want to do that because transplanting in fall is less stressful to their systems.
#3: Rake Fallen Leaves
Raking leaves is a job you’ll do early and often in the fall, and it is also one of the most important. If you allow the leaves to stay on the ground through thr winter, they’ll spread disease and provide a protective layer of insulation for certain unwanted insects. Get rid of your fallen leaves, so the winter can do its job in helping to manage insect populations.
#4: Keep Mowing and Watering the Lawn
Grass grows slower in the fall, so you might be inclined to stop mowing and watering it. This would be a mistake because during fall, grass reduces the amount of energy it puts into growing blades of grass, and instead puts the energy into building its root system. This means the roots still need all the nutrients they can find, and you can help by continuing to mow your lawn in fall so that sunlight and water can continue to reach the plant.
#5: Fertilize the Lawn
After cleaning up all the leaves and pulling out the dead weeds, apply fertilizer to the lawn. The fertilizer will deliver the nutrients the lawn needs to survive the cold winter, so it can grow green and healthy with fewer weeds in the spring.
Importance of Tackling Winter Yard Care Projects
Now that you know what needs to be done to prepare your yard for winter, take a weekend and tackle these few jobs before it gets uncomfortably cold out there. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to winter yard care.