While it may seem that spring and summer are the best seasons to tend to your yard, accomplishing some winter chores can save time, labor, and money. The frigid New England winter can wreak havoc on the softscapes and hardscapes that were pampered during the warm season. Giving your landscape the same care and attention throughout the cold months not only increases its resiliency to the elements, but also gives it a head start to grow strong and beautiful once the frost subsides. Wollaston Development is a strong believer that the best way to keep a landscape happy and healthy is by being proactive and preventative; and these winter tips are sure to set your yard up for success come spring:
Winter pruning is not only a great idea to avoid property damage caused by falling branches and limbs, but has many benefits which beautify your landscape, facilitate the health of shrubs and trees, and reduce your workload in warmer months. Remove the diseased, dead, or dying limbs to make room for new and rejuvenated growth. Since cold weather puts greenery in a hibernation state and suppresses new growth, plants undergo less stress and heal wounds quicker. This quick recovery facilitates healthier, and more controlled new growth come spring, reducing your workload so you can simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful new blooms!
Cover Fragile Plants
While older, more established trees and plants may be more resistant to the hardships of the winter season, others may need a bit more TLC to ensure their survival until spring. To protect these weaker plants through the chill, cover them from the bottom up, and uncover when new growth appears in the spring. This way you can ensure that even newer, younger landscape elements continue to thrive through the seasons.
Protecting your plants’ roots is especially important during the winter to reduce stress from repeated freezing and thawing of soil. Mulch insulates roots from the cold, and helps retain moisture, which can be especially important for plants surrounding heavily salted areas. Resiliency in the winter means healthiness come springtime.
It’s important to remember that plants need hydration, even in the cold. During their dormancy plants do not need as much water, and watering is not recommended when root systems are covered by snow or frost; so while you can feel free to take a day or two off when temperatures hit below 40 degrees, don’t forget to keep their thirst moderately quenched for a resilient spring recovery.
Rake When Possible
Just like the cold doesn’t stop plants from being thirsty, it also doesn’t stop plant material from accumulating on your lawn. Especially when it mixes with snow, plant material such as leaves or dead grass creates a hotbed for mold, fungus, thatch, or matted patches of ground; all of which prevent or even kill grass and plant growth. Even if you kept your lawn perfectly raked in the fall, it’s still a good idea to do a once-over whenever possible, but especially after the last frost of the season to ensure a green and healthy lawn.