Preparing for Winter: 10 Tips for Winterizing Your Landscape

rock landscaping with trees and yellow flowers in front of brick house and green grass yard
When it comes to your yard looking its best, there are many factors that play a role. From elements such as paver driveways to outdoor lighting, as well as structures like gazebos and decks, every element is important to the overall appearance. But for most Georgia landscapes, there is one key element that most everyone has -the lawn and ‘garden’. As professional landscaper designers, the Outdoor Makeover and Construction team understands the value of a well-maintained yard.  And, while the lawn and garden areas might seem obvious when it comes the landscape, without proper care they can take away from the yard’s overall beauty. To ensure that your Georgia landscape looks as good next season as it did this year, it is important that you take time to properly winterize your landscape. And, while we are happy to take care of this for you, it is also a great fall weekend DIY project – especially if you find working in the outdoors pleasurable!

Winterizing Your Landscape

Things You Should Do when Winterizing Your Landscape:
  1. Before cold temperatures arrive, take time to check the soil around any plants to be sure there is plenty of residual moisture. If the soil is dry, then deeply watering them is recommended.
  2. Although not every plant will need to be protected from cold temperatures, perennials or new plants, trees or shrubs will benefit from this extra layer of protection.
  3. Apply lime to the soil This will help adjust the pH of your soil to be more alkaline, and results in a healthier more verdant lawn for next year.
  4. If you have oak trees, fall is the best time to get rid of the acorns that can cover a yard. Doing so prevents your yard from becoming embedded in the soil and eliminates risk of trees sprouting up where you don’t want them.
  5. Once the temperature drops low – typically that first frost of the season- it is wise to add 2 to 4 inches of straw, pine needles, compost or other natural item near the base (but not touching) of the plant.
  6. Do cut back and limbs that are weak or dead- especially if they are located where they might break off and cause damage to your home or other property (out buildings, vehicles, etc.)
  7. While Georgia doesn’t get the amount of snow or ice that our neighbors to the North get, this doesn’t mean we never see a wintery mix. So, should ice or snow be predicted have some burlap, old sheets or even canvas to wrap around the base of the plants – just be sure to anchor it in place with rocks, logs, or another heavy item so the wind can’t low it off.
  8. Apply an anti-desiccant to conifers and rhododendrons to keep the winter wind from drawing moisture out of the plant(s).
Things Not to Do when Winterizing Your Landscape:
  1. Do not add fertilizer late in the season, as this will promote new growth that winter weather will only damage. Save the fertilizer till early spring.
  2. Avoid pruning trees or evergreen shrubs as this too, encourage growth that generally cannot be sustained during the winter.
Winterizing your landscape can often be done in a weekend, but if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can also find a great deal of information in our Client Support section. If you have additional questions or wish to talk to us about future landscaping projects, contact us today.