Winter is coming, and it could spell disaster for your lawn or landscape. You spend the other months of the year cultivating a beautiful yard and garden, so don’t let a Virginia winter spoil it for you. A process called winterization can help you protect against a brutal winter and come through with a healthy outdoor space.
Preparing for the Winter Months
The winter season causes plants to die or go dormant, and preparing is an essential part of winterizing. Simply put, to winterize your outdoor space is to prepare it for the chill of the winter months. This process may include preparing your lawn, garden, sidewalk, and gutters for much of what winter might throw your way.
Many steps should be completed to winterize your property correctly. Here is a breakdown of the winterization services Epling offers.
Preparing Your Trees
When ice and snow fall, the weight can cause serious damage to unprepared trees. Worse yet, a falling branch can damage your home and cost you additional money in the long run. Make sure your trees are ready for winter with these simple steps:
- Check for and remove any dead limbs
- Know when to prune your trees; different types of trees require different pruning schedules to ensure health and proper blooming
- Prune your trees correctly, making sure to trim all weak parts without damaging healthy branches
- Refrain from shaking snow off branches; doing so can damage the tree
Pruning Crape Myrtle Trees
Crape myrtle trees are vibrant in the summer, flourish in heat and humidity, yet intolerant to drought. Crape myrtles bloom on new growth, so to keep the tree looking its absolute best, it is important to prune the trees when they are dormant after the leaves have dropped completely. Pruning the trees in the late fall or winter will get them ready for a vibrant spring bloom. If they are pruned during the proper time, crape myrtle trees will require less maintenance as the trees grow older.
Cutting Back Grasses
Removing leaves and other debris is one of the first steps to readying your landscape for winter. You can then proceed by cutting back ornamental grasses. Although grasses can provide focal points and add to the winter landscape’s visual interest, cutting grass down can be completed in the late fall/early winter to prepare for spring growth. Cutting back the ornamental grasses in the early winter is a personal choice. If preferred, you can wait until spring cleanup and mulching to complete this task.
Pruning Shrubs at the Correct Time
Do you know when to prune all of your shrubs and plants? Do you know if your hydrangeas bloom on old or new wood, or when it’s best to prune roses for proper bloom time? If not, Epling has you covered. Part of our Total Landscape Care Program includes winterizing your entire garden. We prepare your garden by cutting back the perennials, ornamental grasses and roses. We will also remove the winter leaves and other debris and spray the evergreens to prevent winter burn.
In general, pruning plants in the winter allows for fast regrowth when spring arrives. Most plants are dormant during the winter, which makes it easier to see the shape of the plant and prune it accordingly. A few rules of thumb for pruning shrubs and plants during winter is to prune on a dry day, prune out dead and diseased branches first and remove overgrown and smaller branches so that more light can hit the plant. The ultimate goal is to maintain the branches that help develop the overall structure of the plant.
At Epling Landscaping, we are happy to help get your home ready for winter. Be sure to give us a call to set up your winterizing appointment soon, before the chill sets in. Epling Landscaping is dedicated to keeping your lawn and landscape healthy year-round.