As the Christmas trees are now packed away (or recycled) and the New Year has been welcomed in, visions of spring have begun dancing through many a landscapers minds as they plan out their design plans for their lawns and gardens. However, just because the holiday season is over doesn’t mean the winter season is over. In fact, for many parts of the United States, the winter season has just begun and coming along with the winter season are winter storms.
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 spring time. The biggest threat for 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 hard scaping 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. 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 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. All plants that are covered, need to be completely covered. Anchoring down these drop clothes with rocks, poles, sticks or mulch can ensure the drop cloths will not blow away if cold winds blow through.
4. Before the winter storm arrives, water all plants. Adding moisture will allow them to stay ‘warmer’ through the cold than dry plants.
5. 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. Make sure all greenhouse (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!