Though winter is upon us, landscaping work never goes into hibernation. Learn about what winter landscaping services you need and why they’re so important for maintaining healthy green spaces.
Though winter feels long and arduous, spring somehow always seems to sneak up on us. Making sure your yard is ready for spring is critical for getting the best results from your landscaping in the warm months. Proactive landscape maintenance starts in the fall and carries on into the winter.
You’ve already raked and cleared leaves in the fall, but you’ll probably still catch stray leaves all winter long. Leaves can hang on for dear life on some trees, dropping much later than expected. When they’re high up in a tree, they don’t always look like much, but looks can be deceiving. When the winter winds pick up, they knock around loose branches and leaves alike, meaning winter maintenance is done more piecemeal than fall cleanup. Don’t worry about the leaf blower all that much – a rake should do the job just as well (if not better) when they’re spread out and among so many sticks.
Snow can be pretty for the holiday season, but it can be devastating for your flower beds and dormant annuals and perennials. If snow seems to be sticking around, it’s not a bad idea to gently clear it from places where more sensitive plants are, because it can deprive the soil of oxygen and nutrients. In areas where the roadway or other paved surfaces make contact with your yard, flush the soil with fresh water late in winter – this will help to remove built-up salt from plow trucks, which can be a huge detriment to plants growth this spring.
If you find yourself out of your depth when it comes to winter maintenance and clearing your yard this year, don’t hesitate to look for professional help. The Parke Company is committed to helping our customers keep their landscaping safe through the winter and with as little stress as possible. You have enough to worry about. Leave the cleanup to the professionals.
The winter months, especially as spring approaches, offer the best time for pruning and trimming your trees, shrubs, and plants. For starters, it’s much easier to see and access branches when they’re bare. And for many perennial plants, this dormant stage is the least traumatic time for pruning. By pruning the plants in preparation for spring, you leave cuts exposed for less time, making sure to encourage new growth as soon as the weather permits it. Pruning and trimming trees is also important, considering how snow and ice can break branches and leave things a mess. Broken branches that aren’t properly trimmed are more susceptible to disease in the spring, so having an arborist clear dead limbs can prevent further issues going forward.
Waiting too long to prune some plants can actually make their growth harder, so it’s important to consult professionals who have experience in pruning a wide variety of plants. If you’re not experienced in pruning, you are likely to cause more harm than good when you try it this winter. Some things are better left to seasoned landscapers, and The Parke Company offers year-round pruning and winter pruning as parts of our year-round landscaping maintenance plans for this reason.
Protect Against Winter Pests
In the winter, a variety of wild animals are forced to forage further and further from their homes in the woods, meaning they’re much more likely to end up in your yard. While a wandering deer might be a beautiful sight, they’re usually bad news for your trees and shrubbery. Deer can quickly move in and make quick work of tree bark, especially on younger trees. One way to counter this is to apply wire mesh to the base of your trees, especially those that are considered a tasty treat to white-tailed deer and other animals.
Deer can also munch on shrubs, so it’s not a bad idea to cover them in burlap. This practice can also help keep your features safe from other harsh winter elements like snow and ice. Other options for preventing deer include adding fencing, repellent products like ultrasonic deer repellents, and planting deer-resistant plants. Deer-resistant trees and plants don’t have sharp barbs or poison – rather, they’re just not what deer are looking for, meaning they’ll ignore your yard and move on to greener pastures.
But deer aren’t the only nuisance you might face this winter. While most pests like grubs, ants, and armyworms won’t be active during winter, they’re still burrowed in the soil. Chances are you already take steps to mitigate the damage in the spring and summer, but if you’re not, now is the time to consider it. Even before they have the opportunity to wake up and start eating roots and digging through the topsoil, these pests attract moles and other rodents. These varmints are active in the winter and can do a number on a yard digging for tasty little grubs and larvae that your lawn has been hiding.
There are repellents for rodents that you can use too, but the best defense is a good offense in this case. Making sure you’re treating your lawn for common insect pests in the warm months will reduce the odds of rodents moving in the following winter.
Why You Need Mulch
Mulch is huge in the landscaping game, and it’s no secret that it needs to be applied more often than once a year when you’re reinvigorating for spring. Re-mulching in the winter can help your trees and plants all year round for a variety of reasons. Nashville winters can be a long, wet slog of snow and melt, and all that change can start to erode your landscaping.
Mulch can help by retaining more water and maintaining soil temperature around the roots, keeping them safe from the up-and-down temperatures winter often brings with it. A 2-inch thick layer of mulch can provide your plants with the protection they need this winter, and you don’t have to splurge for the pretty stuff this time of year. Using pine needle mulch is cheaper than wood mulch, just as effective, and far more sustainable as needles are dropped naturally by trees. In the off months, use pine needle mulch and cover it in the spring with more aesthetically pleasing mulch to fit your landscape. You’ll need less when the time comes to re-mulch each season because you’re building on a solid base each time you apply it in the winter.
What to Do With Your Landscape in Winter
So, how do you take care of landscaping in the winter? It takes a lot of work, to tell the truth. It’s not always something you can manage on your own, and that’s where The Parke Company comes in. Ease your winter landscape maintenance woes with a 12-month contractual maintenance program guaranteed to leave your yard looking fresh and healthy year-round. Contact us today for a consultation on new landscaping or to learn more about our maintenance programs.