Prepare Your Landscape for the Winter

September 8, 2011
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Although fall has just begun, it is important to being thinking about your landscape defense against the cold weather. Those that are new to landscaping may not understand the importance of protecting plants, or in other words, how to nurture and not torture.

Our discussion refers to various types of plants and the approach one can take to protect them from extreme weather conditions, as well as to prepare for spring landscaping. Gather your landscape supplies and get started.

For starters, seed stalk plants may seem hearty but the best strategy is to remove them completely in order to minimize weeding in the spring. On the other hand, subshrubs should be left alone as they only need Mother Nature to replenish them in the spring. On that note, when planning your landscape it’s important to remember that you should not move subshrubs, so choose a permanent place that you’re happy with.

It’s hard to resist the beauty of a rose, but they are particularly sensitive to harsh weather conditions – including any extreme change in temperature and humidity. With the proper care though, they can enhance your winter garden. Some roses, such as rambler roses are virtually indestructible in the winter.

Speaking of blooms, it is often best to let nature take its course. You shouldn’t really cut any of your blooms back in the fall. Perennials especially, are best left alone during the fall and they will generally bloom naturally in the spring. For those plants with green “basal type” growth, it is simply best to remove spent flower stalks and excess growth in preparation for the winter. Examples of these plants would be goldenrods and the Shasta daisy.

Trees should be cleaned up in preparation for the winter. This simply involves removing heavy growth of leaves, because if left alone, it will lead to matting in the winter. Maple and Iris trees are two that definitely should be cut back and trimmed in the fall.

There are of course a few plants that do thrive when planted in the fall. Such plants are cornflowers, bundleflowers, and some varieties of grasses. Planting these flowers will add color to your landscape and enhance the typical monochromatic scheme of a winter garden. Since you won’t have to spend as much time digging and planting, this is also a great time to add some natural stone walls to accent your landscape design.

Fall, however, has a unique advantage over other seasons in that the season naturally produces a beautiful hue of colors. The natural golds, reds and oranges are a natural complement to any landscape. Indulge in the colors of the season before the cold winter arrives!