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Tips for Getting Your Garden and Lawn Ready for Winter

by | Sep 9, 2021

Robert Markley

Robert Markley is a licensed Landscape Architect with over 20 years of experience working with clients to provide excellence in landscape design, project management, and installation services. He also possesses a rare combination of skills as a horticulturist, licensed Landscape Contractor, and licensed Irrigation Contractor, equipping him to provide a comprehensive and practical approach to any project, big or small. He takes pride in helping our clients envision and create amazing outdoor spaces that are enjoyed now and for years to come.

Winter can transform the North Carolina countryside into a magical realm, but it can also be harsh on your lawn and landscaping. Cold weather, ice, and snow can cause severe damage to plants and trees and can even kill them. With a little time and effort, though, you can prepare your yard and garden for winter and protect their beauty and the investment you’ve made in them.

Clear Out Those Leaves

We’re lucky to live in a region known for spectacular fall foliage, but it’s not so spectacular when leaves pile up on your grass. If you leave dense mats of them to decay all winter, they can smother grass or promote the growth of funguses that can cause damage to it. Most people don’t like raking, blowing, and bagging leaves, but those leaves have to go.

Leaves end up in flower beds and the like, not just on the lawn. Blowers work best here since raking in flower and vegetable beds might damage those plants.

Tip: put fallen leaves to work for you (more on that below).

Thoughtful plantingFortify Your Flower Beds

Give your perennials some TLC by removing old stalks and leaves. Then you should apply a fresh layer of mulch, and here’s where those leaves that fell on the lawn come in. Instead of bagging and disposing of them, you can mow over them (not in plant beds, of course!) and use the finely shredded leaves as mulch for your lawn and plant beds.

If for some reason you can’t mulch, just leave things as they are. The old growth will provide at least some layer of protection against the coming cold.

Protect Your Vegetables and Herbs

Old plant matter can put your garden at risk of disease when spring returns, so clear it out as much as possible after your final fall harvests.

You’ll also want to give your topsoil some protection from the cold that’s on its way. Planting a cover crop over a large bed is one option. Another is adding a new layer of mulch. (Hmmm…did we mention something about finely shredded leaves?)

Some plants can withstand the cold while others are highly susceptible to damage from it. To channel an old classic, let’s talk about parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme as examples. Sage and thyme are good to go. Rosemary, however, is delicate and should be sheltered, potted, or brought inside, and parsley can hold up under a light frost but should be covered if conditions become truly frigid.

If you’re unsure about how to winterize your plants, consult a landscaping expert or a qualified person at a local gardening center.

pruning trees

Tend to Trees and Shrubs

Snow and ice can wreak havoc on delicate limbs. You can’t do a whole lot about tree limbs aside from selective pruning, but you can protect shrubs and small trees with lean-tos and other coverings that won’t look so lovely but beat having to replace the plants.

Keep watering your trees and shrubs until the growing season ends. This will promote continuing growth to strengthen them for winter.

One Last Tip

This doesn’t directly protect your lawn and garden, but it protects your pocketbook: just before the real winter comes, do a blowout of your irrigation system so that you won’t have to deal with damage to pipes and moving parts. LandArt Solutions offers certified, expert landscaping care that can protect your lawn and gardens ahead of winter and take care of them all year long so you can focus on what you need to do. We’re just a click away!

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