In a climate with all four seasons, there is frost on the ground for a significant chunk of the year. As a result, plant life becomes dormant, and the watering infrastructure that keeps things green (i.e. sprinkler systems) will need attention. Here is our winter landscaping checklist. These are the pre-winter precautions you must take to avoid repair bills in the spring.
#1 Drain the Backyard Pool and Winterize the Patio
Regardless of whether you have a pool or not, the big issue is the integrity of all the hard surfaces made of concrete, tile or slate. All these surfaces will develop knicks, scratches, and crevasses where water will collect. Upon freezing, the ice will expand inside and exacerbate these defects. If this is not kept under control season after season, the results can be disastrous. Avoid this by taking note of any defects where water could collect and repair them when possible. Also, apply a coat of protective membrane that makes the surfaces less porous and prone to water damage.
#2 Winterize the Sprinkler System to Protect your Lawn
Any water left behind in the sprinkler lines that are allowed to freeze will burst the pipes. Having to replace these is an expensive, tedious nightmare that will destroy your lawn. There are two methods for winterizing a sprinkler system – use liquid antifreeze or blow the lines out with compressed air.
Want a professional to winterize your sprinkler system? Contact the experts at Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care to take this task off your to-do list!
#3 Protect Frost Sensitive Perennials
Some professionals offer winter landscaping services that are all about minimizing the trauma to plants caused by frost. Pruning the plants is a good idea because it removes any foliage that is vulnerable to freezing and rotting. This will guarantee a quicker spring rebound.
There is also the practice of dividing perennials, which involves pruning the roots and replanting the healthiest specimens in a more spread-out orientation. This helps your best plants bounce back easily in the Spring.
#4 Harvest the Last of your Vegetables and Fruit
The next phase of the winter landscaping checklist is to get any remaining fruit off the branches and vegetables out of the ground. Some root vegetables can tolerate one or two frosting episodes, but most others will wilt in the cold. If you find that you are not getting a mature harvest before the frost, consider a greenhouse for those temperature-sensitive plants.
#5 Put Away the Patio Furniture
Anything with cloth upholstery or soft cushions should not be out in the cold. The constant exposure to moisture from snow and ice will set the stage for microbial growth, and the weight of all that undisturbed snow can strain the furniture structurally. There will also be a long-run risk of corrosion. The best thing is to store the patio furniture in a covered structure like a shed or garage. This will guarantee the most lasting use of your outdoor furnishings.
We hope that this list gives you a better idea of how to winterize your yard. The key is to know the precise date that frost will first appear so you can plan accordingly. If you find this difficult, reach out to a winter landscaping expert at Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care.