As the holidays approach it is easy to neglect our outdoor spaces leaving much work to be done in the spring to restore them back to health. There are a few things that can be done to ensure that lawns and garden plants survive the winter cold.
Raking and cleaning up leaves is something that is important to the late fall and winter lawn care process. By ensuring that leaves are cleaned up it allows the grass underneath to breathe. Allowing them to remain on top of the grass can smother lawns and make it difficult for them to grow in the spring.
During the late fall and early winter mowing is still important. The rule of thumb for this is to try and keep grass at the 3/4” and avoid cutting your grass when it is too wet.
Mulching the leaves by mowing over them and chopping them into smaller pieces is also a good way to handle some leaf clean up as well. Chopped leaf clippings able to reach the soil through the grass where they can decompose and fertilize lawns. This however, should only be done with moderate amounts of leaves. Over mulching leaves leads to decomposition which in turn makes soil too acidic.
Aerating your lawn is also a good way to prepare it for the winter. This process will allow air water and nutrients to directly reach the roots of grass.
Bringing in lawn furniture is important as well. Leaving out tables and chairs or other lawn items will damage your lawn when weather becomes cold and frosty. Aside from smothering your grass the weight of lawn furniture will snap and break frozen grass blades.
As for gardening, winter does not offer much opportunity unless you are interested in indoor plants for the cold season. Some things that you can do to help preserve your garden plants are trimming dead limbs after frosts and ensuring that they stay cut back. Plants that can be brought indoors should be moved to places in your home that suit their temperature needs, but always be sure to inspect your outdoor plants for pests before bringing them into your home!