The warm summer months are now over and the cold winter is approaching fast. It's time to start thinking about winterizing your landscape. Lets go over some things to think about and do when protecting your landscape.
The best time to start closing down for the winter is mid to late November before the first snowfall.
When taking care of your lawn, you want to continue mowing until the last of the leaves are off the trees. The last time you plan on mowing your lawn, mow it at a shorter length for approximately 2-2.5”. This protects your grass from fungus and diseases that come with colder weather.
Make sure to clear your lawn from any debris including garbage, fallen branches and weeds. With the leaves on your lawn, your best choice is to mulch them. Mulching your leaves removes the leaf blanket that can suffocate your grass. Mulching also allows for the organic matter of leaves to promote good health for your grass. Aerating, topdressing before the snowfall can promote good grass health in the spring. Seeding before the snow is also beneficial.
Caring for your garden is pretty simple before winter. Don’t trim back plants or shrubs yet as you would be promoting new growths that would die in the cold. The best thing you can do for your garden is to apply a 3-4” layer of natural mulch on top. This will protect the roots and allow nutrients to continue to soak into the soil through the winter. Make sure to leave some space around the base of your plants/shrubs so as not to suffocate the roots.
For extra protection, you can wrap your shrubs and newly planted trees in a shrub jacket. You can also use some sticks and plastic or wire to create a little fence around the base of your shrubs and trees. By doing this you are protecting them from animals in the winter.
There isn’t anything you can do to winterize your pavers before the snow, but you can protect your pavers. If you do want to protect your pavers, sealers can add extra protection.
One of the most common questions asked about interlocking pavers is what to use for deicing. When it comes to choosing a deicer, you will want to avoid magnesium based deicers. Magnesium can cause damage to the pavers chemically and cosmetically. It is recommended to us a sodium chloride based deicer (aka rock salt) on concrete that is older than 1 year. It's important to note that no matter what deicer is used, it is always best to use it in moderation. The more you use the higher chance of damaging your pavers. If it is an area that you won’t be needing for the winter (i.e. unused patio) it's suggested not to salt it all. If you would like to help with ice in this area, sand is always an option to help with traction.
When it comes to removing snow and ice, never use a metal blade shovel or snow blower on your pavers. Metal blades will scratch and damage the surface. Plastic shovels are your best choice for shoveling off interlocking areas. Chipping ice formations is also a bad idea as it can result in dents and cracks in your pavers.
It's important to note that when spring comes, you will want to hose off your pavers. Remove any extra debris or salt residue left behind once the snow melts and the temperature warms up.
Winterizing may seem pointless sometimes, as you won’t be able to see the ground anyways due to all the snow. However, it's necessary if you want to have a beautiful, healthy landscape come spring. It's also something super beneficial to you. Winterizing can lessen the work you have to do in the spring, and who doesn’t like less work. With these helpful tips, winterizing your landscape can be easy and quick. You can enjoy the long winter knowing your gardens and yard will look fantastic in the spring.