Tips To Protect Your Landscaping During The Cold Season

Posted on: 10 November 2014

As the warm sun of summer gives way to the crisp, cold air of the fall, it's time to start thinking about how to prepare your landscaping for the cold weather season. Although your landscaping maintenance isn't as demanding in the fall as it is in the summer, there are still some things you'll need to do to preserve the condition of your yard as the temperatures start to drop.

Start with a Plant Cleanup

As the summer season comes to a close, you'll be left with seasonal plants that are dying or unsuitable for the cooler temperatures. Remove any plants that are dying by digging them up at the roots. It's important to remove the entire root bed, though, to prevent any potential diseases or pests from wintering in the soil and coming back to destroy your landscaping in the spring.

Gather the Fallen Leaves

The trees that you covet for summertime shade may become a nuisance in the early fall season. If your yard is buried under fallen leaves, it's time to clean them up. Rake up all of the leaves in the yard, gathering them in yard storage bags for disposal or repurposing. Luckily, there are many things you can do with fallen leaves beyond just disposing of them.

Create Scarecrows

Gather some old clothes, wooden posts and twine, then stuff them with the leaves to create scarecrows for your yard. Scarecrows are a classic fall decoration. Although they are typically reserved for kids crafts, they are fun for people of all ages to create.

Get the Kids Involved

If you want to get the kids involved, you can make them a part of the landscaping experience by investing in craft supplies that will allow them to make leaf rubbings, collages and even wax leaves. If you're at a loss for leaf-related crafts, there are many sources for holiday and seasonal craft ideas.

Prepare the Soil for Spring

Take a soil sample and have it tested before the weather gets too cold. This will tell you what your soil will need for healthy plant growth next year. By capitalizing on this now, you can help to maintain your landscaping for the next growing season.

Depending on the results of your soil tests, your landscaper may suggest the use of organic compost, lime or sulfur in the soil to help the beds settle during the cold season. Capitalize on the opportunity now so that all of the nutrients can distribute into the soil.

Plant and Prune Hardy Plants

The fall season is a good time to plant your winter-hardy trees and shrubs. It gives the plants time for the root system to develop in the soil while the foliage growth is dormant for the season. You'll also want to take this opportunity to prune the existing shrubs and trees. Many spring bulbs should be planted in the fall, too, so make sure that you consider your spring plans for your landscape to plan ahead for this if needed.

Create a Protective Mulch Barrier

Adding a thick layer of mulch over the soil of your plants and shrubs will provide some insulating benefit for the roots. And, fresh mulch will give your yard a cleaner, more organized appearance as well. There are many different types of mulch to choose from, including cedar chips and shredded bark. If you want to make the most of every step in this process, you can even use your leftover gathered leaves as mulch, because they will provide the same benefits and will naturally decompose.

With the right preparation before the winter freeze sets in, you can preserve your landscaping and be ready to go when the spring thaw starts. The suggestions presented here are a great place to start. If your yard has any other special needs, you should consider working with a landscaper for specialized advice and more info.