When most people think about landscaping projects, they think about spring and summer. That makes sense. Those are the seasons where spending time outside is the most comfortable and gardens are the most lush.
However, landscaping in the winter months brings many benefits that you just can’t get in the spring and summer. The amount you can get done may vary depending on how severe your winter climate is, but winter landscaping and gardening can really benefit your personal environment in some interesting ways.
Landscaping during winter months and general lawn, tree, and garden care look a bit different than you may be used to. But with proper planning and an understanding of your local climate and environment, they can do great things for your home.
When looking at landscaping in the winter, there are several questions that spring to mind. The most common question is, of course, can you do landscaping in the winter? The short answer is yes. The long answer comes in several parts.
Do landscapers work in the winter? They do! In fact, one of the best things about landscapers during colder months is that they don’t have nearly as large of a waitlist. You could wait the whole summer to get in with a good landscaper, but in the winter, the wait times are often a fraction of the length.
For many landscapers, winter is a great time to work on hardscapes. These are the garden paths, trellises, and non-organic features that help to frame your lawn and garden’s beauty.
By working on your hardscapes in colder weather, you avoid the hassle of having a team of workers in your yard when you would rather be out there relaxing. Your neighbors also don’t get bothered as much because they are likely also indoors.
There are some things that your landscapers will have to be vigilant about, though. For example, mortar can have a problem setting correctly when temperatures are below freezing. But that just means your landscaping crew will have to use forecasts to plan out their building schedule.
Ask your landscaper what is possible in your area during the winter. If you live in an area that regularly endures severe cold and heavy snow, they may not be able to dig a new swimming pool for you in January. But you never know until you ask!
A lot of winter garden care is focused on preparing for the coming season. However, there are things you can do to keep your home environment colorful— even when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Here are some gardening tips for winter.
The thing to remember about planting in winter is that you need to test the ground first. If the ground is frozen six inches deep or more, it is unwise to plant anything. Digging will be incredibly difficult, and the soil won’t give the new plants the nutrients they need.
If your ground is not too frozen, you can plant some evergreen shrubs and bushes to maintain a pop of color no matter how gray the sky may get. Some plants, like holly, maintain their berries in winter for a beautiful flash of red amid the snow.
Winter is a good time to plant or re-plant bare root plants. Since they become dormant in the cold weather, it is less of a strain on the plant to move it around and place it in its new home.
Putting down mulch to protect the roots of trees, shrubs, and other plants before the first snow of the year will help them thrive when spring comes around.
You might call this a subsection of winter gardening tips, but caring for trees in the winter is kind of its own thing. Many people don’t consider their trees to be a part of their garden, and the steps one should take for their trees are unique to some other winter gardening activities.
An important aspect of landscaping in the winter is pruning. Winter is an excellent time to prune rose bushes and trees. The closer to spring you prune, the less time your plants will have open wounds before new growth heals them up.
If you live in an area with frequent, heavy snowfall, take precautions. Broken branches and damage from heavy snow can leave a tree vulnerable to disease. So you’ll want to do what you can to minimize the risk of that kind of damage.
Tying branches together can help protect weaker branches. It’s also a good idea to gently brush snow off of lower branches that are being weighed down. If a branch does break, remove it as soon as possible.
It’s also wise to take steps to protect young trees from roving wildlife. Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean that all the animals in your area have gone. Put wire mesh around the bases of your young trees to protect them from wildlife.
Related to tree care is the type of tree or trees you choose to have in your home environment. This is one of the more enjoyable parts of winter horticulture because it is purely aesthetic. It’s all about what you like to look at.
When it comes to trees and choices for landscaping in the winter, most people will point you to evergreens. This is a great suggestion because evergreens can give you gorgeous pops of green, blue, and even yellow.
But that isn’t the only option. Many deciduous trees have interesting bark that can stand out starkly and beautifully against a winter landscape. Dogwood shrubs, birch trees, and any other tree that you think looks good without leaves can make you happy during the winter months.
That’s what it really boils down to— what do you like looking at? What do you like having as part of your home? What are you willing to work to preserve and help grow? Answering those questions will determine the kinds of trees you want.
Landscaping in the winter isn’t just about large plants and garden care. Getting your lawn ready for the winter so that it comes back healthy and strong in the spring is a major component of winter landscaping.
As the ground freezes and the snow falls, your lawn will go dormant. Generally, one of the biggest pieces of advice for lawn care during the winter is to try not to walk on your lawn too much. That’s more of a guideline than a hard rule, though. Especially if you take other precautions.
For example, before the ground freezes and your lawn goes dormant, mow it shorter than usual. Instead of the three to three and a half inches that is normally recommended during the spring and summer, go for a two to two and a half inch mow. This limits the space for pests to occupy and frees space for new growth in the spring.
Additionally, you’ll want to clear debris from your lawn before the ground freezes and/or the snow comes in. This includes fallen leaves and branches from trees that drop limbs during the fall.
Finally, it’s a good idea to aerate your lawn before the ground gets too cold. By aerating and fertilizing your lawn before the ground freezes, you give your grass a head start come spring. That’s because your grass won’t use the fertilizer during the winter, but will use it as soon as it ceases dormancy after winter ends.
There are plenty of things you can do for your lawn, garden, and trees in the winter. Landscaping in the winter offers you great opportunities to create the environment you want early so that you can enjoy it as soon as spring comes around.
From building new hardscapes to taking care of your existing trees to potentially planting bare root plants, there are lots of things your landscapers can help you with. Reach out to us today and see what possibilities are available to you!
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