The winter months don’t typically call to mind thoughts of landscaping and outdoor projects. But while most of us are looking forward to the holidays, this can also be a great time to take care of landscape maintenance that is inconvenient or impossible during the spring and summer months. Lawns, shrubs, and trees all respond well to proper care during their dormant months, which can ensure that they return more vigorously the following year. And although Washington’s winters are typically not very severe, there are some maintenance tasks that a homeowner neglects at his peril.
Some projects you can easily tackle yourself. To winterize and protect landscaping from cold damage, every homeowner should make sure to:
• Drain and store water hoses.
• Bring accent plant containers indoors.
• Weed vegetable and flower gardens for the last time.
• Plant any spring bulbs before the freeze.
When snow is anticipated, property should be cleared of any debris that could be hazardous if covered by snow. There is no need for someone to be injured by stepping on a hidden rake or shovel.
These are all simple do-it-yourself tasks that can be done in just a few short hours. In addition, the winter months are a good time to break out the graph paper and plot what you’d like to plant when spring arrives.
Other projects are more involved, but can return large dividends. Employing the services of a landscaping company like Boulder Falls can help ensure a satisfactory result.
• Establish proper drainage around landscaping features. Washington’s long rainy season can lead to water buildup and damage plants, walkways, and patios. It is important to provide adequate drainage in problem spots around such features.
• Clean brick and paver surfaces. Fall debris can stain and reduce the aesthetic appeal of brick walkways and patios, so it is preferable to extend their life and beauty with a proper cleaning. Be careful during the winter months not to use abrasive plows and shovels on your brick surfaces, as this can chip the sealant, and reduce the life of the surface.
• Prune shrubs and hedges. This needs to be done before the first frost, but after the leaves have turned. Because shrubs and hedges need to be cut at a quarter-inch angle, and then need to protected and mulched, this task is best left to a professional.
• Prune trees, especially near buildings. Winter snow and ice can bring down trees and limbs. This can be costly and may cause injury. Broken, ice-laden limbs can pull down power lines and home gutters. Only a professional landscape maintenance company should cut down trees or limbs that are near power lines and homes.
• Have irrigation and sprinkler systems blown out. Water which is left behind in sprinkler and irrigation systems can cause sprinkler systems to burst.
Each of these ideas should prepare your home and garden for not only the winter months, but also for the upcoming spring. By planning ahead, your yard and garden will reward you with a welcoming burst of color.