Winter Wonderland: Tips For Cold Weather Lawn Care
Inside may be delightful, but even when the weather feels frightful it's important to keep caring for your yard. Good lawn care during these cold months could mean a lush yard and money saved next spring. Check out these tips to ensure that your favorite trees and plants survive the winter instead of being used for bed frames, firewood or mulch next year.
Oh Deer! Rodents And Other Pest Problems To Tackle Now
Rabbits and deer are cute, mice, not so much, but you won't like any of them once the snow melts and you see all the damage they've done to your plants. Rodents and other small animals will eat the bark from the tree for food in the winter, and deer will eat bits of the trees and use them to rub their antlers on. A DIY fence may help keep animals away from your trees. For rodents, you can put up a mesh netting that goes underground, for the mice, up to a foot or two above where the snow will fall, for rabbits. Fences, which may save your trees for a while, deter deer but they'll find a way over if they're really hungry. Another solution is providing them food away from your trees, but this may invite more deer.
Clean Up So There's No Nightmare After Christmas
Clear debris like fallen leaves and kids' toys before snowfall. This will help prevent mold growth in some areas and help the grass. You can pull out a plug of grass and see how much thatch you have and if you need to clear it out. Thatch is a layer of stems, roots and other plant material that accumulates between the soil surface and grass. Once thatch is over 1/2" thick, it becomes a barrier that prevents water and air from reaching the soil, turning your yard into a breeding place for fungus, bacteria and disease. Thatch under 1/2" shouldn't be a problem.
While You're Dreaming Of A White Christmas...
Snow, wind and other winter weather elements may look pretty, but they can break and ruin your plants. After a snowfall, gently shake heavy snow from branches of shrubs and other plants, as to prevent them from breaking from the weight. If they have broken already, you can cut back the broken branches so that the cut is flush with the larger branch to help prevent disease and insects as much as possible. If the branches haven't broken yet, tie loose stalks together to help the bush or tree keep its shape.
Give Yourself The Gift Of A Lush Yard
The perfect time to patch up any weak or bare spots in your yard is before winter weather hits. For bare spots, you can get a special blend of seeds with fertilizer to help them take root quickly. If you have a warm weather grass that won't stand colder temperatures, but won't be covered by snow, consider overseeding with a cool weather grass seed for a lush carpet of grass year 'round.
Protect Plants So You Don't Feel Salty In Spring
Salt is great for de-icing sidewalks and streets, but it's awful for most plants. If you have any plants near salted paths, you may want to create a burlap fence to prevent as much salt spray as possible. It may not be the most attractive option, but it may save your favorite bush or tree from some damage. There are plants that are salt resistant that may be a better option near roadways and sidewalks.
Get To The Root Of Winter Dehydration
Watering before the ground freezes is really important to make sure plants have enough water stored through the winter. When the ground is frozen, roots aren't able to absorb water from the ground, and plants can become dehydrated and damaged. To keep the ground from freezing too quickly, add a lot of mulch around the base of the tree or bush. This will insulate the ground so your plant will be able to keep getting water for longer.
Knowing your yard is taken care of now will help you enjoy the winter wonderland to come. With these tips and a little research, you'll be able to enjoy your plants for seasons to come.