Winter is your lawn’s least favorite time of year. During this season, frosts can wound your well-groomed grass, hail can pummel your plants, and snow can smother your trees. Overall, winter is an extremely harsh season on your lawn and while many landscape plants can endure the cold, they can’t sustain the weight of snow and ice. After the extremely cold and icy winter in Atlanta last year, it is beneficial to plan ahead and prepare your lawn for the winter elements.
Here are some tips to help you protect your lawn this winter:
- Bring your potted plants inside—The simplest solution to the cold is to remove your plants from the cold temperatures outside. If you have any potted plants or hanging basket plants outdoors, bring them indoors. Even a move to the garage or a sunroom will be beneficial, as this will still increase the temperature.
- Wrap up your trees— In the winter, trees can suffer, especially in very cold temperatures. Growing wood may go dormant in self-defense against the cold temperatures, but sunlight on trees can cause the wood to emerge from dormancy, which can actually kill parts of the wood when the sunlight is replaced by shadow later in the day. To protect the wood on your trees, you can wrap the bark in burlap fabric or cling wrap to better regulate their temperature.
- Rake your leaves— Leaf cover during the winter keeps sunlight off of your lawn, which, when combined with the cold temperatures and moist terrain, encourages moss and lichens to grow where grass should. Additionally, fallen leaves can trap heat and moisture underneath snow, leading to a fungal lawn disease known as “Snow Mold.” Removing leaves from your lawn will keep your yard dry and healthy throughout the winter.
- Remove snow from trees and plants—If there is a substantial amount of snow gathering on the branches of your shrubs and trees that is weighing them down, do your lawn a service and go gently knock off the excess snow with a broom or comparable device. Branches are strained by heavy snow and can even break if too much snow piles up.
- Protect your plants— Severe winter winds can sap the moisture out of leaf tips, so it is important to protect them. One thing you can do is put up a wind screen by taking a piece of burlap and two stakes and creating a sort of wind block that will catch the wind before it hits your plants. If you know there will be ice, it is a good idea to wrap your plants in burlap because burlap is woven material that allows air to pass in and out. Do NOT wrap your plants in plastic because you will create a heat moisture trap that can kill your plants. As soon as the ice is gone, remove the burlap to prevent your plants from overheating.
- Water your plants—Plants still need to be well hydrated in the winter because they continue to lose moisture through their leaves. If you water your plants, they are more likely to survive a hard freeze.
If you would like some help maintaining your lawn this winter, then consider hiring a professional Landscape Management company. Here at Mansell Landscape Management, we offer year-round landscape management as well as seasonal color programs. Contact us today for more information.