If you’re like us you are starting to dream of pumpkin pie, warm fires, and yuletide gatherings with family and friends. You may have even started pulling out the lights and mistletoe, but before we are blanketed in the first snow of the season, make sure your property is ready for winter slumber. Here is our Winterization Checklist to protect and prepare for a safe winter and great start to spring:
- Fertilize in-ground plants – work with your local garden center to find fertilizers that will help nourish plants that cannot be moved inside during harsh winter conditions
- Trim and fertilize lawns – as the temperatures drop and there are fewer sunny hours, chances are you are already mowing less. Now is the time to give it one final trim and feed your lawn well before it goes dormant.
- Defend against deer – apply sprays and install guards that will prevent deer from striping bark and nibbling on defenseless plants during foraging season.
- Protect broad-leaf evergreens – as their name implies, evergreens will not turn brown or drop their leaves through the winter, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need defense from the harsh conditions. Lock in moisture with anti-desiccant spray and wrap them in burlap to reduce wind damage. Some popular varieties in our region include boxwoods, rhododendrons, and gardenias.
- Rake leaves – while it is tempting to wait for Spring to remove leaves from flower beds, they encourage bacteria or fungi growth that can be dangerous to plants and provide a perfect environment for garden pests to make themselves at home. Rake and remove leaves from beds and from under bushes before the first snowfall.
- Clean you gutters – if you don’t have leaf guards, make sure your gutters are clear of leaves. This will allow for proper drainage from snow and ice melt thus reducing weight on bushes and oversaturation in flowerbeds.
- Fill in Mulch – add a thin layer of mulch to areas that have been washed away during Autumn rains or are likely to be affected by heavy snow melt.
- Prepare your firewood – for those of you with wood-burning fireplaces or firepits, make sure to clean up any weeds and debris from around wood racks and restock dry with dry firewood. Untidy woodpiles invite burrowing garden vermin.
Now you are ready to nestle down in front of a crackling fire with a warm cup of cocoa while your plants dream of springtime showers and warm sunshine.