Your landscape represents a significant investment. Make sure you take the steps to protect it from damaging elements like cold, wind, snow and ice. It’s important to focus on each section of your landscape — including your lawn, garden and hardscapes — because they all have different needs when it comes to winterizing them.
We’ve put together this quick checklist to help you make sure your investment is kept safe even in the harshest of winters.
Aerate and fertilize — You should give your lawn a final dose of fertilizer in late fall. Because roots continue to grow until the ground is frozen, adding fertilizer now will encourage spring growth.
If your soil is quite compacted it may be necessary to aerate your soil. Aeration takes small plugs out of you soil about three inches down and helps your soil breathe, creating a space for air, water and nutrients to reach your turf’s roots.
Rake and remove debris — Spend some time cleaning your lawn of leaves and debris in the fall. Removing dead plant matter keeps your lawn and gardens healthy, prevents the growth of fungi and protects it from disease and insect larvae.
Cut grass shorter — Cut your grass one last time before the first frost or snowfall. Cut it short — around 2 inches — to help prevent snow mold in the spring.
Burlap wrap — Wrap your plants in burlap to protect them against snow, ice, cold and winter burn, which is the result of sun exposure combined with depleted moisture levels in the soil. Plants that should be wrapped include young shrubs and trees, perennials, and potted plants — remember to add wooden stakes between the plant and the burlap to prevent damage to your plants!
Cover furniture — Try to store your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage. If that’s not possible, make sure to cover it to protect it from the cold and snowy winter elements.
Remove decor — even though your decor is meant to be used outside, being exposed to our harsh winters for years on end could damage them. So if you don't want your favourite pieces ruined by rust or excessive wear, tuck them away inside.
Put away hoses — Remember to turn off your outdoor faucet and drain your pipes before the first frost. Draining your pipes is easy. Simply turn off the faucet at the source (this is usually in the basement of your home) then turn on the outdoor faucet and let all the water drain out. This will prevent frozen and broken pipes over the winter. Store the hose in a garage or shed to keep it from cracking in the cold.
Winterize your sprinkler/irrigation system — If you have an irrigation system, it must be blown out with highly compressed air to remove any water in the lines. This prevents water from freezing and expanding in the lines, which can cause cracked lines and heads. At The Landmark Group we have irrigation systems and maintenance as part of our property care services.
There are many steps to take to ensure your landscape is protected during winter. And it should all be done before the first frost… which only leaves you a few short weekends to get it all done.
This can be especially tough if your property isn’t your primary residence… in that case, you’ll have two properties to winterize! So, if you'd like some help putting your property to bed for the winter, we’d be happy to help. Just give us a call and one of our property care team members will be in touch.
Then you can relax and spend the next few months preparing for the many holidays coming up!