Growing your garden for winter
As the year marches to an end, it’s time to winterize your garden. The cold winter months can be a death knell to your lawn and garden, if you are not careful. The advice of Utah landscapers is for you to prepare your lawn for the coming cold winds and snow so that spring will be a joyous time as you see your flowers, trees and shrubs thriving with renewed life.
Aside from Utah snow removal, companies such as Allstate Landscaping in Utah provides a number of fall and winter maintenance services to ensure that your landscaping is at its best shape, ready to take on another year.
Here are some things you or your Salt Lake City best landscaping specialist can do:
- Fertilize for winter. Potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen (in the right combination) can enrich your soil during the winter and encourage the growth of your plants in the spring. These also help ensure that your plants’ roots are strong and nourished enough to endure the cold. You can also try to add mulched leaves into the lawn. This not only nourishes the soil but also covers the soil and the plans during the cold season.
- Aerate. Simply put, this is allowing the soil to breathe. During the year, the soil may be compacted due to the heat and constant watering. As a result, it is harder for nutrients and moisture to seep deeper into the soil. By making holes in the soil, you allow the soil to “breath” and absorb more water and nutrients. You can aerate your lawn using a manual aerator if your lot is small enough. However, you may need the services of a Utah landscaping specialist for more heavy-duty jobs.
- Water them down. Before the ground completely freezes, hydrate your plants thoroughly. Your trees will need a lot of moisture before the snow comes in.
- Guard your trees and shrubs. These are vulnerable to rodents (mice and rabbits) that may try to find a nest during the winter. Wrap wire or plastic mesh around the trunks. These should be higher than the level of snow. Check if there are disease portions or branches – these should be removed so that the disease will not spread to other parts of your trees or shrubs.
- Protect your perennials and annuals. Tie your perennials down to prevent the wind from blowing them about. You can also cover the garden with mulching to provide a blanket for your plants. Other plants, especially annuals, will require removal and storage indoors.
- Clean the beds. You can remove stalks and leaves that can rot and become mush due to the cold. These may cause mold problems later. You can also leave seed heads of perennials to provide birds with their food for the winter. Once the beds are clean and the ground has frozen, put some winter mulch to your flower beds to prepare the soil for your perennials. However, be sure to do this only when the ground freezes, otherwise the rodents may settle down on the mulching for winter shelter.
- Plant for spring. If you have spring-flowering bulbs on hand, the time before winter sets in is the best time to plant these. They can survive the harsh winter and will blossom in time for spring. Mark these bulbs using stakes. You can add hand-painted labels on the stakes. This will not only prevent you from pulling out your bulbs during weeding but also add a certain level of charm.
- Overseed your lawn during fall. Use cool-season grass over bare spots that will later grow and keep your lawn green, even during winter. It s best to overseed the law six to eight weeks prior to the coming of the snow.
- Put away gardening equipment. Garden equipment, especially those which contain water or which water passes through should not be left outside. Watering hoses, sprinklers and watering cans that are left out in the cold where water inside them can freeze will result in cracked or burst equipment. The same goes for ornaments that are also vulnerable to cracks, especially those made of cement, ceramic and terra cotta. Store these inside your garden shed or garage.
- Don’t prune shrubs and trees before winter months. Doing so will only encourage new growth, which have not yet adapted to the coming cold.