Winter is a time of year when you need to pay extra special attention to your landscaping. Freezing temperatures, ice, snow and winds can wreak havoc on lawns, shrubs and more. Following are some tips to help you protect your landscaping and thaw your worries from the winter freeze.
· Cut grass shorter. Your final lawn cutting before winter hits should be 2 to 2.5 inches in order to protect new growth and minimize the risk of your lawn becoming a feeding ground for pests.
· Rake leaves and remove debris. These items may smother your lawn and stunt the growth of new grass – or even kill it altogether.
· Aerate and fertilize before the first freeze. While your lawn won’t use the fertilizer in its dormant stage, it will draw upon the nutrients as soon as the weather begins to warm.
· Apply mulch. Mulch around trees, plants and shrubs add extra protection for winter. Mulching is also an important control for erosion and loss of water.
· Prune most plants in the winter. The late dormant season is best for most pruning. Pruning in late winter, before spring growth begins, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short amount of time before new growth begins.
· Protect against water loss. Apply anti-transpirants to plants and trees to help reduce water loss from plant leaves. Burlap wrapping also may be used to shield valuable evergreens from winter winds.
· Take precautions against snow and ice. Tie branches together that may be susceptible to snow and/or ice loads. In addition, remove limbs that may break from snow or ice, as damaged trees are more prone to disease.
· Protect tree trunks. Aside from the harsh winter weather, the other threat to your shrubs and trees during the winter is animals. Rabbits and mice especially can ravage the bark of a young tree. To prevent this, you can protect tree trunks with tree guards made of plastic or wire.