Winters here in West Virginia can be tough on our landscaping and water features. Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice all take their toll on our property. That’s why winterization is so important for the longevity of your landscaping. Here are a few tips for landscaping winterization to protect your property from the winter elements.
It’s easy to forget about our trees and shrubs, but they need our help too. From dry winds to the scalding sun, winter brings with it a number of threats to our trees and shrubs. These landscaping winterization tips for trees and shrubs will help you protect your ornamentals from the elements.
One way to protect your trees and shrubs this winter, especially if they’re young, is by wrapping them. Dry winds and freezing temperatures can cause a lot of damage to our ornamentals. Even the sun turns into an enemy in the winter. Sunscald is a common issue that trees face in the winter. The sun will heat the bark of your trees and shrubs throughout the day, causing the tissue to activate. When the sun disappears, the temperatures return to freezing or below and the activated tissue is damaged, resulting in extensive damage and stress to your trees.
Combat these issues by wrapping your trees. You can use burlap to wrap the entire tree or shrub; this will help retain moisture while maintaining a consistent temperature. If you don’t want to wrap the entire tree, then just focus on the trunk. Use a light-colored wrap to reflect the light and prevent the bark from being heated up.
Protecting the roots of your trees and shrubs should be priority number one. This is where your plants receive all of their nutrients and water, redistributing them throughout the tree. In order to protect the roots during the winter, it’s a good idea to add mulch.
By adding mulch to your landscaping, you’ll help insulate the roots from fluctuating temperatures. You’ll also be helping to retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing around your tree. This means your trees and shrubs won’t be fighting with thieving weeds for nutrients and they won’t have to deal with the stress from drought. It’s best to use an organic mulch like shredded bark or wood chips and only apply no more than three inches of it. Make sure you avoid piling the mulch up against the trunk of your tree as this is a perfect runway for voles.
Having a water feature on your property, like a pond, pool, or fountain, add a splash of interest to your yard. However, these water features all require regular maintenance to ensure they are around for a long time. Here are a few landscaping winterization tips for your water features.
The first step of winterization is cleaning your pool or water feature. Make sure you skim out any leaves, branches, or other fall debris. Removing this debris now will make your spring start-up that much easier. For pools, make sure you skim the surface and vacuum the rest of the pool. Brush the sides of your pool too, clearing away the residual silt and algae that may have started to form.
For ponds and fountains, it’s important to remove the pump before the freezing temperatures of winter. If left in your water feature throughout the winter, you’ll be looking at extensive damage and will most certainly need to replace your pump in the spring. Make sure you drain or blow out all of the plumbing to avoid freezing damage as well. Finally, reduce the level of your water.
Adding winterizing chemicals is an essential step to pool and water feature winterization too. For pools, you can use chlorine or non-chlorine shock first. After this, you can use an algaecide to ensure your pool stays clean and is ready to start up quickly in the spring. For ponds, an algaecide is a good idea to keep it clean.
Your deck or patio is probably the most used area in your backyard. It’s where parties are hosted or it’s just a great place to lay out and relax. To keep this essential backyard zone in pristine condition, it’s important to properly winterize your deck or patio. Here are a few landscaping winterization tips for patios and decks.
The first step in winterizing your patio or deck this fall is cleaning it off. Debris from fall, like leaves, sticks, and pine cones or acorns, can make a pretty big mess on your deck or patio. Sweep away the debris to ensure your deck or patio is clean throughout the winter and ready for a quick set up in the spring.
Finally, it’s time to store and protect your deck and patio furniture. Chairs, couches, tables, end tables, umbrellas, and grills will all need to be protected from the elements. Either put them away or cover them up to keep them safe from snow and ice this winter. Protecting them now will help you extend the lifetime of your furniture.
Landscaping winterization will help you protect your property from the winter elements. Do you need a little extra help? Call in the professionals at Through the Garden. At Through the Garden, we specialize in landscaping design, construction, and maintenance. If you need help with fall clean up or winterization services, Through the Garden is the answer.