Five Tips for Getting Your Yard Ready for Winter

Posted on: 31 October 2018

Winter is just around the corner, and if you live in an area of the country that gets cold, that means it's time to winterize your home. One area people often forget about is their yard. In addition to your house, your lawn, trees, and other plants need weatherization, too. Here's what you should know to get them ready for their dormancy period so they are healthy and lush come springtime.

Address Any Seedlings

Unless you want new trees randomly growing in your yard, it's best to take a walk around it and look for any seeds that may have sprouted over the spring and summer. Squirrels and chipmunks, as well as birds, run around burying and depositing seeds everywhere they go, and eventually, some of them sprout and begin growing. It's best to get rid of them while they are still easy to pull out. You will also want to clean your gutters. With the autumn leaf drop, the gutters become clogged. This organic matter will provide the ideal material for seeds to germinate there as well. Plus, you don't want clogged gutters moving into winter as they won't be able to do their job come spring thaw.

Cut Your Grass

As the warm days gradually come to an end, your grass will grow more slowly. When you cut it for what you believe may be the last time, cut it to a height of about four to five inches. If you cut it too short, you may end up with frost damage to your grass. If you leave it too long, it will be difficult to cut, and you may have thatch patches come spring. As you mow, notice any bare patches so you can go back and throw down some grass seed to sprout the following year.

Apply Fertilizer to Your Lawn

To ensure your grass stays healthy through the winter, feed it right before the snow starts to fly. A fertilizer application will provide it with the necessary nutrients it needs to weather the cold. Be careful to read the instructions so you don't overfeed it.

Cover Your Hedges

Any shrubs, bushes, and hedges should be loosely covered with burlap and tied at the bottom, but this should not be done until you are in full-blown winter if they need to be pruned. Pruning should only be done once they are fully dormant or you will stimulate new growth, which will put the plants at risk.

Wrap Your Tree Trunks

If you have saplings in your yard or trees with sensitive bark, such as an ash or maple, wrap their trunks to protect them from the cold. Trunks should also be wrapped if you have a lot of wildlife in your yard. This will prevent animals from eating the bark off the trees. 

If you have a large yard, a busy schedule, or aren't familiar with how to care for the green things in your yard, your best bet is to hire a professional residential landscaping service to take care of it for you.