Although most outdoor landscape features will fare well over the winter, there are a few things you can do to lessen the possibility of winter weather (and wildlife) damage, so you'll be ready to GROW when spring returns! 

 

Here's a quick checklist:

  1. Be sure all of your leaf and weed debris has been removed from planting beds and lawns before snow arrives.  Not only will debris prevent winterizer applications from reaching the soil, it also provides the perfect environment for rodents to burrow (and munch) all winter long; and it offers fungus, mold and insects a quick-start environment as soon as temperatures warm. 

  2. If you have "clean" leaf debris, by all-means compost!  But move compost piles AWAY from your lawn and bed areas to a contained area where it can decompose in isolation (for the same reasons as noted above).

  3. If you're not purposely leaving certain plants in place (because of their fall and winter beauty, or in order to provide food for birds and preferred wildlife (i.e. ornamental grasses) cut-back perennials and grasses, and dispose of clippings away from your beds and lawn.

  4. Rodents are opportunistic creatures...And when food is in short supply, they will eat whatever is available.  They'll eat the bark right off of trees, sometimes to the point of eliminating the "phloem" layer that is critical to nutrient flow for the tree.  So young and/or vulnerable trees in particular could benefit from tree wraps.  They're easy to install, and inexpensive too -- faaar less expensive than a new tree!

  5. Consider top-dressing planting beds with mulch (to a finished depth of no more than 2 1/2 to 3 inches) to provide roots with an extra buffer against extreme cold.

  6. Apply winterizer to lawns, and anti-transpirant to evergreens, to mitigate damage from winter winds and cold.

And one more thing to keep in mind...Until the deep cold arrives and the ground begins to freeze, plants can still benefit from watering!   

 

Strong winds and fluctuating temperatures can desiccate plants during any season, so a good soaking at least once a week in early fall when it's not expected to drop below freezing, is a great idea.  As the weather grows colder, a watering every few weeks or so, is helpful.  And of course, once the ground freezes, watering can cease until warmer days return...

 

As always, if you have questions or need a little help preparing for winter, give North Star a call!  Consultation is free!

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Winter is Around the Corner!  Are you ready?

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