As fall sets in, you need to change your gardening habits. Getting prepared for winter takes precedence over planting as the weather starts to turn. Starting at the right time during the year can make all the difference. Starting around six weeks before the first freeze is about the right time for all gardens to get ready for winter.
Maintaining your landscape for winter consists of removing dead branches, dried stems and other decaying foliage from your topiaries. Adding compost and extra mulch is a good idea for all landscapes that suffer through especially cold winters. The compost decays, keeping the plants roots warm and the mulch keeps in the heat.
Many people assume that planting during this period isn’t the right time. That’s partly true for certain plants and landscaping. Trees, shrubs and flowering perennials all grow well during these weeks before winter. Mums and pansies are perfect flowers for fall and early winter flower beds.
Winter Landscaping Tip: Pruning should only be done on dead branches. When plants exert their new growth through budding branches, they may not have had enough to harden, ultimately killing them.
During the cooler fall months is the perfect time to sow grass seed for cold season grasses like rye and fescue. This can give your new seedlings enough time to generate a good root structure before the cold winter ahead.
Fertilizing the lawn should be on everyone’s must-do-list for winterizing lawns. A slow release fertilizer that is high in phosphates can promote root growth. Nitrogen should be avoided as it promotes grass growth.
During these crucial weeks, root strength should be strengthened while leaf growth should be lowered. Slow release natural fertilizer always works well on cold winters to keep roots healthy during these tough winter times.
Weeding the yard at this time also helps to keep grass strong as it emerges in the spring. Weeds which compete all winter with grass roots often win and can lead to brown spots next year. Apply herbicides heavily in early spring and late winter months, then spot treat areas that need it in the fall for the perfect weed free turf.