When winter comes it’s time to pack up the landscaping shed and say goodbye to your regular landscaping maintenance – mostly. Though winter is undoubtedly the slowest time of the year for work on your landscaping, there are a few things you can do to keep your plants happy and better prepare for spring.
Let’s learn 3 tips for landscaping during winter months and all the different chores that can be carried out for a happy and heathy yard no matter how cold it gets outside.
3 Tips for Landscaping During Winter Months
Winter Landscaping Tip #1 - Plan for Spring
Many homeowners stare out their windows during winter wishing they could get their hands dirty and while you can’t install new plants, there’s plenty to do to prepare for spring including:
- Re-Scape / Add Beds – There aren’t many plants to add or work on during winter but if the ground isn’t frozen there’s no reason you can’t work on your literal landscaping. Winter is a great time to add or modify existing beds for spring plans.
- Build Planters – Bored and need to do something for your outdoor space? Consider building planters over the winter. Find a design that matches your needs and layout, build your planters, place them in their new spot and add dirt. Once spring rolls around all you need to do is add plants.
- Design – Winter is the perfect time to design your spring garden. During winter you can take plenty of time to make appropriate plant selection, determine your planting plan, and run the plan by a professional landscape professional for their approval. Don’t lose valuable springtime sun walking over your plans, get your prep work done in the winter.
Winter Landscaping Tip #2 - Cleaning Up
Winter is the best time for a full-scale landscaping cleanup. During winter you don’t need to worry about stepping on flowers, your lawn is dormant, and most debris like leaves has finished falling. Because plants are less dense you have better access into perennial beds, built up gardens, and other areas you’d normally have trouble getting into.
With a thorough winter clean out your landscaping will be much more prepared for a spring install or maintenance. Use the following checklist where applicable to your garden for a clean, happy garden when springs comes:
- Clean Out Perennial Beds – Take a garden rake and trash bag to clean out all leftover debris and any other unwanted material around your perennial beds. Clean out around plant trunks to help them better absorb water and nutrients come springtime.
- Re-Mulch Beds – Winter gives you access to clean out beds, but it also gives you the best access to mulch your beds. Mulch provides warmth against freezing temperatures and helps plants retain moisture throughout the dry winter months. Once spring hits the mulch will slowly break down to feed your plants too.
- Cut Out Dead – Use the winter to cut and clean out any dead plants or branches. Because plants are driest during the winter it’ll be the easiest time to cut out any dead materials.
- “Vacuum” Your Lawn – If your lawn is filled with leaves and other debris you can rake it, or you can vacuum the lawn with your lawn mower. Set the deck on your mower higher to vacuum instead of mowing.
- Adjust Watering – Most plants don’t need much winter water but not all. Talk with a local landscaper to help determine what plants need water and what plants are fine on their own until spring.
- Feed Your Plants – Double check your plant’s feeding needs and fertilize for a strong spring bloom.
Winter Landscaping Tip #3 - Get Better Winter Color
It’s true that you’ll be outside the least during winter, but many portions of the U.S. including Colorado feature several days of enjoyable weather throughout the winter where you’ll want to take advantage of your landscaping or outdoor space. It can get dull staring at dead leaves and yellow grass during the winter but there are several ways you can beef up your garden’s appearance in winter by:
- Overseeding Your Lawn – Overseeding means spreading extra grass seed on top of existing grass for more color or thickness year-round. Depending on where you live overseeding can provide green grass through winter.
- Use Planters for Decorations – Planters are expensive. If you’re not using them during winter, you’re missing out on their benefits 25% of the time! Instead of plants fill your planters with wreaths, hollies, evergreen branches, or other winter-themed items.
- Install Winter Color – You can enjoy color even if old man winter is knocking at your back door. Consider evergreen shrubs, dwarf trees, and plants with berries for a splash of color no matter how cold it gets.
Knocking Out Your Winter Landscaping
Winter takes up a quarter of the year so if you aren’t taking advantage of that time to accomplish the above tasks, you’ll be behind when spring rolls around. Shape, plan, and consider color during the winter to take full advantage of your outdoor space 365 days a year.