Practical Ways to Get Your Landscape Ready for Winter

The holidays are almost here and snow is already stacking up in some states. Winter may remind you of the years of happy Christmas celebrations you’ve had with loved ones. However, it also brings on several home maintenance headaches, some of which are most apparent on the exterior part of your property.

The most challenging issues include:

  • Frozen Pipes – Even if your outdoor pipes are buried beneath the ground, some of them are still exposed through your sprinklers and outdoor faucets. If they still have water in them, the liquid could freeze and expand inside the pipe, possibly causing it to crack or even burst.
  • Damaged Pavement – Hardscapes, despite their durability, are susceptible to moisture damage. Melted ice and snow can seep into the concrete, freezing from the inside at night, causing cracks and even potholes.
  • Moldy Lawn and Deck – Mold thrives in cold and moist areas that don’t get much sunlight. You may notice it growing on your deck a few weeks after ice or snow melts on it. After a few months of winter, you may notice fungus feasting on your grass when you finally clear the snow out of it. Fungi may also grow on your tree, causing its trunk and branches to rot.
  • Standing Water – If your landscape has improper drainage, you may end up with standing water, which can be teeming with disease-causing bacteria. These puddles can also drown your plants and grass, causing them to die out.

Winter can wreak havoc on your landscape. The best way to deal with them is to prevent them.

Here are different ways to keep your landscape well-maintained throughout the cold season.

  • Clean Your Yard – Debris like leaves, trash, and dead plants can smother the grass in your lawn, starving it of oxygen. It also creates an environment where disease-causing bacteria and fungus can thrive. It also generates heat, causing pests like mice and groundhogs to take shelter on your lawn. Clean your yard before snow starts piling up to avoid these problems.
  • Prune Your Plants and Trees – Snow can build up on your tree and shrub branches, possibly causing those parts of the plant to break off. Apart from those branches falling on someone or on your home, this problem can leave your plant’s flesh exposed to all sorts of germs and fungi. These can cause the plant to rot and die a slow death. Avoid this issue by pruning and trimming branches. This involves removing dying and damaged branches and stubs. This gives the plant the go-signal to replace the dead branches with healthier ones. If theweeping cherry treesin your yard are already damaged, you may be able to save them through micro-nutrient fertilization.
  • Mulch, Mulch, Mulch – When your plants and soil are exposed to the harshly cold winds and snow, they’re at risk of freezing and dying. A great way to protect them from the elements is to mulch. Mulching involves covering your plant’s soil with materials like grass clippings, wood chips, and shredded leaves. These act as insulation and shield against the harsh cold.
  • Clear Your Outdoor Pipes – If you want to prevent your outdoor pipes from freezing and bursting, you need to make sure they’re completely drained of water. Shut off the main water valve, connect a hose to your basement faucet leading towards the outside of your home, then open all the faucets in your home to drain them. Flush all the toilets as well. Do the same for all your faucets and sprinklers outside. Once you’ve done this, you can proceed to turn on your main valve. Just make sure you don’t use your sprinklers and outdoor faucets during winter.
  • Fix Your Soil Slope – Standing water happens because your landscape’s soil is flat or is sloped towards your home. Hire a professional landscaper to slope your soil away from your house so that it drains water properly.

Even if it’s a signal that the holidays are coming, winter can give you a lot of stress. This is especially true if you like keeping your landscape properly-maintaned all-season-long. Avoid landscaping problems throughout the cold season with these suggestions.

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