We’re right in the middle of fall, but winter should always be on your mind in the DMV area. We have seen our fair share of nasty winter storms over the years. Now’s the time to arm yourself with knowledge of what to do when the winter storms come.
Preparing landscaping for winter storms can be just as frustrating as dealing with the storm itself. However, taking precautions to protect lawns and gardens is vital to ensure a healthy lawn and garden come springtime. The biggest threat to landscaping is ice. Ice forming on or around hardscaping, around trees, bushes, flowers, and vegetation can wreak serious havoc by either a) causing all plants/vegetation to die off or b) causing tree branches or hardscaping to crack, break, and fall.
In order to prevent lawns and gardens from freezing or dying off due to extreme weather conditions from winter storms, take the following precautions and steps to ensure a blooming lawn for spring.
1. Take the Potted Plants Inside
Bring all potted plants indoors or under an awning or inside a garage. Exposing them to indoor heat could also have negative effects, so just be careful when storing them.
2. Cover the Outside Plants
Cover all plants with a drop cloth and then drape a plastic over the top. (Make sure that the plastic isn’t lying directly on the plants to prevent ‘freezer burn’ [seriously!] )
3. Anchor the Drop Cloths
All plants that are covered, need to be completely covered. Anchoring down these drop cloths with rocks, poles, sticks or mulch can ensure the drop cloths will not blow away if cold winds blow through.
4. Water Before the Storm
Before the winter storm arrives, water all plants. Adding moisture will allow them to stay ‘warmer’ through the cold than dry plants.
5. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
Add mulch, lots of mulch. Pack all mulch around plant stems, tree bases and flower beds to help add a layer of nutrients, retain moisture and protect roots from the cold.
6. Seal and Close Your Greenhouse
Make sure all greenhouses (if applicable) are closed and sealed tight. Allowing cold air to get in could kill all plants inside.
7. Be patient.
Winter storms are never a fun condition to get through, and even worse is allowing a winter storm to ruin all landscaping efforts. Check, double check, and triple check that the above efforts have been made then grab movies, a cup of hot chocolate and wait the winter storm out!