Winter Landscaping Advice

While winter may mean less yard work, it doesn't mean that there is nothing at all to do outside. Some tasks are best done in winter when plants are dormant. Other tasks may not be necessary, but your landscape will look better if you do them. The following are a few things you should put onto your winter to-do list.

Shrub trimming

Most plants go dormant or semi-dormant in winter, making it the ideal time to tend to regular pruning. Shrubs, bushes, and hedges, even evergreen varieties, should be trimmed and shaped during late winter before the early spring onslaught of new growth begins. Prune when the temperatures are above freezing, using sharp and clean hedge trimmers. As an added benefit, there is also usually a lot less sap to contend with when you are trimming in the winter months.

Continue with lawn cleanup

Leaves, pine cones, and small branches will continue to fall well into the winter months, especially if there are any windy days. Don't leave this debris on the lawn until spring, as it blocks air circulation and holds moisture. This can lead to dead spots on the lawn or mold growth. Instead, rake up the debris regularly and dispose of it or compost it so that it doesn't harm your lawn.

Manage your beds

Chances are you put your garden beds to sleep in the fall. Yet, some annuals and perennials are often left in place to provide winter interest. This usually includes some ornamental grasses and plants with attractive seed heads, such as coneflowers and black-eyed susans. If this is the case in your beds, then the end of winter or when the plants begin to look the worse for wear is the time to cut them down so that the beds are ready for the beginning of the spring growing season.

Top off your mulch

Walk through the landscape and top off any beds that have low mulch levels. As a general rule, the mulch should be laid in a layer about two inches thick to sufficiently mitigate weed growth and conserve soil moisture. Winter is the time to manage the layer because fewer plants in a bed makes it easier to determine the mulch level. You can also more easily rake and contour the mulch appropriately due to the emptier beds.

For more help, contact a grounds maintenance company like Coastal Lawn Service Inc in your area.