When most of us think of landscaping, we think of a sunny summer day cutting the grass and clipping the hedges. We might think of autumn and spending an afternoon or two raking leaves. But when winter hits…pretty much nothing happens. That’s normal, right? Well, if keeping your lawn looking its best is a priority to you, you’ll want to take steps and care for the lawn all year long.
However, there’s a trick to it. We know, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “During winter, how hard is it really to look after the lawn?” There are right and wrong ways to perform lawn care, and by avoiding common pitfalls, you can ensure your landscape looks fantastic and stays healthy throughout the year.
What NOT to do with winter landscaping:
- It’s common wisdom that, when you cut the grass for the last time during the season, you should cut it as short as possible. However, that wisdom is wrong, because when the grass is too short, weeds can move in. Keep the grass cut to about 2-3 inches. It will be an effective buffer for weeds, as well as keep moisture in the soil more efficiently.
- Speaking of the last grass cutting of the year, too many people don’t think ahead to the following spring and, as a result, the lawn doesn’t look so hot through autumn and winter. Take the time to either have a good once-over lawn manicure done or do it yourself by re-emphasizing the lines diagonally. When you do that, the lawn looks great during cold months.
- During the summer, lots of homeowners have irrigation systems going to keep plants looking green. But plants still require water all year long, and they often don’t get any in winter. If you let shrubbery, trees, and grass only get water from rain and snow, you’re putting them at higher risk of dehydration and contracting disease. Take a little time to give them the occasional watering, and they’ll stay strong.
- You might be more on the proactive side of things by remembering to apply fertilizer. That’s great because you can start the next season out stronger. The trick is using the right fertilizer. For example, granular fertilizers have a nasty habit of taking much longer to dissolve properly when things get cold. The best way to avoid this issue is to use sprayable fertilizer, which is much easier for plants to absorb.
- Odds are you know the most insidious and annoying obstacle standing between you and a beautiful landscape are pests. Many homeowners figure that, when winter rolls around, the cold temperatures will kill off insects and they can start spring with a clean slate. Not the case, because insects are great at finding places to dig in and weather the winter. It’s worth your time to periodically check your plants for infestations and deal with them as soon as you find them.
- Finally, we know that raking leaves is a chore that’s incredibly boring. It’s also incredibly necessary since an accumulation of leaves creates a great environment for mold and fungus. Plus, snow will stick around longer in an unraked yard and be more difficult to get rid of.