The winter months may not seem like the best time to work in your yard, but winter landscaping maintenance is essential for the coming growing season.
Winter Landscaping Maintenance – Pruning
One of the biggest highlights for winter landscaping maintenance is pruning. Because of the temperatures, the development of your plants will be undeterred after they are pruned. It’s encouraged for you to go for a hard prune so branches and stems aren’t damaged by harsh winter ice storms that make your plants more susceptible to disease. Shrubs and hedges will leaf out more quickly in the spring if you do hard pruning this time of year. Try to make small pruning cuts that minimizes the exposure of the central heartwood on the branch. Remember that as part of winter landscaping maintenance, pruning should conserve as many living branches as possible with only a few selective cuts.
Leave the Leaves
This is a point with a catch. While leaf debris can smother your grass and create disease conditions, the insects that hibernate in them are important for the environment once the snow thaws. Instead consider shredding your leaves for mulch when mowing your lawn for the last time this season. This will help make your grass healthier without suffocating it and serve as food for wildlife to encourage a healthy ecosystem.
Speaking of mulching, part of winter landscaping maintenance involves mulching your soil and flower beds. This process safeguards herbaceous and woody perennials from cycles of freezing and thawing, cold rain, and cold winds. It also protects the soil from compaction and erosion caused by heavy winter rain and snow, keeping soil nutrients from leaching away, increasing soil fertility when material decomposes in spring. Hardy plants won’t require much effort from you to prepare them for winter. But if your area gets a lot of freezing and thawing through the season, watch out for frost heaving. This means the soil actually pushes plants out of the ground, especially new plants that don’t have a lot of roots yet. To prevent this, add a 6-inch-thick layer of chopped leaves, straw, wood chips, and more. This is also a great winter landscaping maintenance treatment for your trees!
An important, and often overlooked, winter landscaping task is to get in touch with your landscape professional and get on their schedule for the spring. Thankfully there’s still plenty to be done in preparation for winter and during winter. For all your winter landscaping maintenance help call Wojton’s Nursery for peace of mind and to guarantee your yard looks great come springtime!