As summer and fall wind down, the last bit of green in your landscaping might be diminishing, but that doesn’t mean the lushness is gone forever. Smart planning in the fall can protect gardens through winter, and homeowners will need to do their part to ensure success when spring arrives. There will be ample time to embark on a plan for what needs to be done, so lets cover some tasks to take on as well as what to do to get ready for the next season of gardening.
Top Priorities For Getting Landscaping Ready for Winter
With the weather a bit cooler, autumn is an amazing time to get busy prepping the garden. With a solid course of action in place, success is sure to follow! Start out by clearing out all of the debris and plant matter from the garden. This makes starting fresh next spring a much easier process.
Cover any particularly cold-sensitive plants/perennials with a frost covering to shelter them through the winter. Sometimes mulch and straw are enough insulation to get plants through the winter as well. Just be sure to remove the covering from those tender plants and shrubs after all chance of frosting has passed in the spring. While covering and removing, keep an eye out for any weeds to pull before they take over.
Of course, soil quality is still king when it comes to making sure plants make it through winter and have all the nutrients necessary for an amazing springtime production. Apply a generous layer of compost over the garden soil to increase water retention and fertility levels.
Start preparation by having the garden soil tested. These results will let you have a better idea of whether or not it should be amended and what additives might be needed to improve the quality for the upcoming season.
Use organic fertilizers like mulch, manure or worm castings to help garden plants with the natural substances they need to thrive. The best employment for this effort is to use the mulch around existing plants with at least a one or two inch level of additional “padding”.
Make sure to cut back on any excess on ornamental trees, plants and grasses again in late winter, which allows air and light to reach the base of the root system. This gives roots and new shoots a head start for when warmer weather arrives. Before you start cutting, make sure you do some research for the type of plant you are tending to.
Last, but not least, give any pathways, pavers and hardscaping elements a good cleaning. A professional pressure washing service like Squeegee Squad has the equipment and skill to come pressure wash pavers, walkways, patio furniture, and more! With extensive training and the use of low-pressure nozzles, Squeegee Squad’s professional cleaners can remove these unsightly stains, without damaging delicate surfaces like stucco and painted facades.
Pruning and Cutting Back Efforts
Many trees start getting dormant during the late fall and winter, so be sure to take time to work on them when they are leafy. However, for taller trees, pruning in winter might be a good approach, as it allows you to reach the leaves and branches easily.
Remove any dead branches that might be casting unwanted shade, and add these organic refuse materials to the compost pile to serve as mulch come springtime. Take time to divide up any perennials and annuals that have expanded beyond their garden bed before any new growth begins. Of course, add compost to the soil when replanting.
Tips for Composting
Empty compost bins of any usable material in late fall before the onset of winter. Make use of the compost around the garden, in any raised beds, or transfer the material into a dry container with a lid so it’s ready for use when spring arrives. Harvesting compost prior to starting a winter compost heap frees up space for the new compost stockpile.
Keeping the compost bin warm is essential for owners who live in a region with harsh winter temperatures or strong winds. A good approach is to place hay bales or straw piles around the bin that will help the beneficial bugs and worms in compost materials stay warm and toasty all winter long.
Managing the winter compost heap works much the same as it does throughout the year. A good mix of layers of greens and browns along with garden waste, kitchen scraps and other refuse will minimize the need for turning the pile as often. After all, each turn of the pile lets heat out and will slow down the process of decomposition.
Consider reducing the size of the pieces that you compost by cutting down scraps and keeping debris small when possible. Keep the compost moist, but don’t let it get too soggy over winter, and this can be a battle in areas prone to snow and rain during the cooler months. A great way to combat moisture during these periods is to add more browns from cutbacks to the refuse pile to absorb the water.
Getting Ready for the Spring Garden
Be sure to check out the irrigation system throughout the cold months. This includes the faucets, hoses, sprinklers that don’t take well to freezing up. This helps avoid costly repairs when things thaw out after the season passes. After all, those new spring seeds will need that hydration to help them revamp and restore the lush look to the garden.
Essentially, you will learn over time which plants survive and/or thrive in the fall and winter, so you will save time with fall prep as you learn “as you go”. Keep beds tamed, sensitive plants covered, and keep garden beds properly mulched and protected for an amazing spring comeback!
Don’t forget to maintain the rest of your garden space, whether it’s pressure washing garden furniture, walkways, or patios, these areas need seasonal care too! The professionals at Squeegee Squad are experienced, dependable and friendly, and understand how to properly care for your home, inside and out. Each Squeegee Squad location is locally owned and operated by a hardworking local resident, and all owners and employees undergo comprehensive training before stepping into your home or property.