Preparing your lawn or garden during the beginning of fall is important as it gives time for your outdoor space to welcome the cold weather. It may be a time when the leaves change color and the air is crisp, clean and refreshing but it is the right time to restore your lawn as damage may have occurred during the summer months. The heat and harsh rays of the sun causes damage to your garden and fall is the ideal time of the year to restore your outdoor space as they tend to go dormant in winter. Below are 10 tips on winterizing your lawn or garden
1. Start early by planning in advance – The countdown begins when the lawn starts to revitalize after summer’s soaring hot temperatures have started to cool and mellow down. To make the soil absorb more nutrients and prepare for spring with all its endeavors, early winterization is crucial. Waiting till fall is over will cause all the nutrients to wash away from the soil and the lawn will also start becoming dormant for the winter.
2. Undertake a PH diagnostic – There’s nothing quite frustrating than doing all the work in your lawn with no positive end result. Before you start treating your garden with chemicals or fertilizers, make sure you check the PH levels of the soil. This will help in determining the acidity level of the soil and also help in revealing area that needs special treatment and care. Hire a professional to do the work for you or purchase a kit from your local store to do the test on your own.
3. Don’t prune – Anything done in excess will not give good results, so it is best if you avoid pruning your plants in the cold months. Giving full attention to your outdoor space during the start of fall is a great practice but contrary to popular belief, excessive pruning can be harmful to your plants. It is best to prevent the cultivation of new growth as it will get destroyed during the winter months, which in turn causes additional work and labor during spring.
4. Aerate the garden/lawn – To allow for air and water to have direct access to your plant’s roots, aerate your lawn and garden. Aerating your outdoor space brings about healthier looking plants as it opens up the soil in your lawn and garden, allowing for air and water to have firsthand access to the soil where there is proper flow of nutrients. If the lawn has received high traffic during summer, then it can get compressed. So consider aerating the garden/lawn for best results.
5. Find a good winterizer – To maintain a healthy and beautiful looking outdoor area, try acquiring good quality winterizers. It is highly unlikely that a lawn or garden will survive the cold months without a winterizer. They usually contain similar type of ingredients as lawn food. Before using it, consider the ingredients ratio compared to lawn food as there is a noticeable difference. To strengthen roots during winter, use quality winterizers that posses more potassium and phosphorous and less nitrogen levels.
6. Remove debris and rake leaves – Make it a habit to clean up fallen leaves on a regular basis. Why? Mainly because when leaves are left on the lawn or garden during winter, they can cause dead and dry spots. In addition to this task, remove dead plants and branches from the outdoor space to ensure even growth of new blossoms on the spring.
7. Keep an eye out for weeds – The one plant that has a bad reputation for birthing seeds in the fall are weeds. Pull out weeds from the outdoor space before the weather gets too. This also prevents additional work and unhealthy looking lawns and gardens.
8. Cover flower beds – Some garden plants may need to be planted in the fall before beginning your prep work for winter. To provide extra protection to chilly weather conditions, cover the garden or lawn with burlap.
9. Check working condition of all water systems – The cold weather can have a serious even damaging effect on many things and this includes your water pipes. To prevent pipes from bursting and costing you a small fortune in repairs, it’s better to take necessary steps beforehand. Shut off the water supply and allow the pipes to drain out completely so that there is no water left to freeze. Consult a professional for help and review all your water system’s manuals before winter comes.
10. Relocate small plants indoors – Garden herbs, small plants and tender bulbs cannot outlast the winter season as they will not have the strength to survive the cold weather outdoors. To keep them healthy, fresh and alive, you need to relocate them indoors and plant them in small pots for them to thrive and grow.