How to Get Your Landscaping Ready for Winter

You might not want to hear this, but the first day of winter (Thursday, December 21) is approaching fast.

Before long, your topsoil will be buried in snow, your patio or outdoor living space will be covered in ice and you’ll be clearing your driveways and walkways on a daily basis.

In other words: Now’s the perfect time to tackle those winter lawn care chores (or have the team at Wright Landscape Services take care of it for you).

That way, your yard will survive the winter and come back strong in spring.

Here’s what you should do.

NPK winter fertilizerApply winter lawn fertilizer

While your grass or sod is still visible, pick up some winter fertilizer products and give your lawn one last feeding.

Characteristics of good winter lawn care fertilizer include:

  • High nitrogen levels (the first number listed on the bag, identified with the chemical symbol N)
  • Low levels of phosphorous (the second number listed on the bag, identified with the symbol P)
  • High levels of potassium (the third number listed on the bag, it has the chemical symbol K)

If you have cool-season grass (like fescues or bluegrass) on your lawn, they’ll really benefit from a feeding of winter fertilizer.

That’s because, right now (even into mid-fall) is their peak growing season. They’re hungry and ready to absorb all the nutrients and minerals they can.

In turn, they’ll store that energy through winter and right into spring.

Mowing in fallKeep on mowing

“When should I stop mowing my lawn?”

It’s a winter lawn care question we’re asked about often at this time of year.

The answer: As long as you can.

Don’t stop mowing and watering your lawn as necessary. But when you feel you’ve got a few cuts remaining, drop your blades to their lowest possible setting.

Doing this ensures that:

  • More sunlight will reach the top (sometimes known as the crown) of your grass
  • There will be less clipping remnants to turn brown during the winter

One last thing: Even if there’s a light dusting of snow on your grass, you can still give it a final cut or two.

On the other hand, if your grass is buried under a thick amount of snow (sometimes, early blizzards do come to Waterloo, Guelph and surrounding areas), then forget about mowing it.

Clean guttersClean out your gutters and eaves troughs

It’s not fun, but it’s a very necessary part of residential winter preparation.

In winter, your gutters are susceptible to things like:

  • Heavy ice weighing down on them
  • Burst pipes due to freeze/thaw cycles
  • Clogged or frozen debris

Chances are you won’t want to climb up there when it’s -20°C and the wind is howling.

So grab a ladder (and make sure you have someone to keep it steady) and get up there.

Things you should look for include:

  • Bunched up gunk (like wet leaves)
  • Animal nests
  • Holes and leaks (remember, the job of a gutter is to direct water away from your home as far as possible)
  • Any sagging or drooping areas

If water is the number one enemy of your home, then snow and ice is right up there.

And the place it can do the most damage? Your gutters and eaves troughs.

Sweeping sand into stonesGet your interlock ready

Although backyard patio stones are tough, they can still become damaged due to winter freeze/thaw cycles.

Moisture falls. Then it freezes (causing it to expand). Then it melts (causing it to contract).

Repeating that process over and over again can cause your patio stones to crack, move out of place or become warped.

Of course, you won’t know it until winter’s over and the snow finally melts away.

However, you can take some preventative measures now with your winter lawn care to ensure that doesn’t happen:

  • Top up the joints between each paver with polymeric sand
  • Stock up on treated sand or eco-friendly ice melter (and apply when necessary)
  • Ensure the stones in your landscape design are evenly flat on the ground before winter arrives

You’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort laying down the perfect interlocking pavers. Don’t let Old Man Winter ruin them for you.

Pull weedsPull out any stubborn weeds

You’ve pulled them out in spring.

You’ve pulled them out in summer.

And now, you have to pull them out (again) in fall.

Weeds which are popping up  right now in your gardens and plantings may disappear in winter, but they won’t die. The seeds will still be there, just waiting to sprout.

Unless you get down there (again), and pull them out by the root (again).

Need help with winter lawn care? Contact Wright Landscape Services

Don’t let winter get the best of your lawn and landscaping this year.

With some preventative measures now, you can protect and preserve your yard – even during the toughest and harshest winter weather.

And the earlier it’s taken care of, the better it’ll be for your landscaping.

With that in mind, contact us today if you:

  • Have questions about our fall and winter services
  • Want a FREE estimate on the services you require
  • Would like us to visit your property and discuss your needs

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