Is Your Landscape Prepared for the Winter?
Most people think when the colder weather sets in, there isn't much to do in your yard, much less your garden, but you would be mistaken! There is plenty to do in the winter: raking the leaves, laying mulch, aerating your soil, or building the perfect porch for your big backyard bbq! There are plenty of ways for you to preserve your beautiful garden and lawn you already have or add more!
Rake Those Leaves
To you, raking the never ending falling leaves may seem pointless, but if you let a layer pile up it will leave your grass lacking its proper oxygen and sunlight it needs to live. Before you burn all those leaves take some out and put it on top of a pile of soil for awesome, vitamin rich soil to use next spring! You can also use a mulcher or your lawnmower to shred a small amount of scattered leaves on your lawn to add some nutrition to your grass through the winter!
Aerate Your Soil
(Grass Carpet Lawn Service)
Along with sunlight and water, one of plants biggest needs is air! "Oxygen in the soil is important for plants’ vascular functions, moving water from the root to the greenery," (One Green Planet). If you have a tiller it isn't much of a task, but if you do not it can be achieved another way! To get plenty of oxygen in your soil just take your rake and keep flipping your soil all the way through your garden. This is such an awesome way to prep your garden for any winter plants you may want to put in or just to get it ready for the spring.
Watch Your use of Porch Salts
While porch salts may be necessary a few times throughout the winter definitely use it sparingly. "Salt damage occurs on plants when salt is deposited by spray on stems and buds of deciduous woody plants and on stems, buds, leaves and needles of evergreen plants. Salt spray can cause salt burn on buds, leaves, and small twigs," (Mandy Bayer and Geoffrey Njue, The Impact of Salts on Plants and How to Reduce Plant Injury from Winter Salt Applications). It can also have a negative effect on your grass, burning it and leaving it looking subpar. When you salt your porch this year consider just doing a path to you door!
Planting Winter Trees
Everyone hates to see their beautiful spring garden turn into a barren wasteland of crisp branches and fallen buds, but there are various types of trees and shrugs that will make your bleak garden turn into a winter wonderland. Consider planting things like winterberry shrubs, native evergreens, red twig dogwoods, American hollys, and sweet bay magnolias. These beautiful plants that thrive in the winter will bring a pop of color to your garden during these cold months!
Knowing What to do With Your Spring Bulbs
How many of us have put a bulb in your garden in the spring and we're awaiting its beautiful bloom to come back even bigger and better the next year just for it never arise? This is because there are two types of bulbs, hardy bulbs and tender bulbs. Tender bulbs usually consist of flowers that bloom in the summer like canna, elephant ears, dahalias, gladiolus, and begonia, just to name a few. These bulbs should be dug up every year before the first frost. From there you can bring it inside and set it on a paper towel and let it dry out For at least two weeks. After that you would pack it in a cardboard box, mesh bag, or paper bag with holes poked in it and store it in a place that stays between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be stored like this for 12 months. The best time to replant these in your garden are the beggining of spring. For those hardy bulbs you can leave them in all winter! A few examples of hardy bulbs are hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and crocuses. The only time you will need to dig these is if your garden was to get to overcrowded.
Mulching, Patios, Walk Ways, Garden Beds
Winter is the best time to lay down mulch and add an extra layer to keep your bulbs and plants warm in the garden! It's also a great time to start imagining what your full potential is in your yard. To you that might mean raising your flower beds, replacing the wood, taking out trees, putting in stepping stones, or building your dream patio! Now is the best time to get your yard ready to dazzle your friends and family next spring!