As the cold weather arrives, you might feel a sense of relief that at least you can take a break from the demands of lawn-mowing, leaf-raking, and sprinkler maintenance. However, preparing your landscape properly for winter can help your plants, trees, and lawn remain healthy so that you don't have to give them as much care and repair work in the spring. Follow this guide for winterizing your yard.
1. Protect Your Trees
Trees are one of the most valuable but also one of the most vulnerable parts of your landscape during the winter, especially if they are young. The weight of snow and ice on branches can cause life-ending harm to trees. The bark on young trees is attractive to hungry rabbits and deer. The freeze-thaw cycles during winter can be hard on trees, causing damage to the bark and roots.
You can protect your trees from damage by:
- Covering vulnerable trees. Some trees, like cedar trees, should be covered in burlap over the winter to help protect their branches from snow and temperature changes.
- Installing trunk protectors. Plastic covers can keep your tree's bark from becoming rabbit food. If a rabbit eats all the bark in a circle around the base of the tree, the tree will not recover.
- Mulching around the base of the tree. A layer of mulch can help insulate the roots, making temperature changes a lot less severe near vulnerable root systems.
- Trimming your trees regularly. Regular trimming reduces the risk of dead or dying branches breaking under the weight of snow, splitting the tree and exposing the trunk and healthier components to damage.
Use a tree care service to keep your trees as healthy as possible.
2. Take Care of the Leaves
Many people spend time raking and bagging leaves to keep them from smothering the grass. Leaving the leaves to cover the grass can cause damage to the grass if the leaves are still there when it snows. However, vigilant raking is also not necessary. Instead, you can mow or mulch your leaves, breaking them down into smaller bits. These small leaf pieces will actually help give your lawn needed nutrition without ruining the grass.
3. Remove Sprinkler Heads
Finally, if you have a sprinkler system, take time to remove the sprinkler heads before the first freeze. If you don't do this, the water in the system can expand and crack the heads, which means that you'll need to replace them in the spring before your irrigation system will work again.
To learn more about landscape maintenance, contact a company like Lopez Tree Service.