Winter is fast approaching here in Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver, Washington, although, with the weather we’ve been experiencing, it feels like it has already begun. Some of us have already experienced freezing temperatures and snowfall! There are MANY landscape tasks to complete before the colder winter months arrive. Here, however, we will discuss the top 3 essential tips for winterizing your landscape.
Tip 1: Mulching
One of the perks of the winter months is that weed growth slows down, which gives us all time to catch up on removing those pesky plants. However, if left untreated, weeds will return with a vengeance. Installing mulch throughout your garden beds is an organic approach that will drastically decrease the number of weeds that are able to germinate, grow, and spread. But that is far from the only benefit of mulching before the cold months.
Mulching also has insulative properties that will help to protect your desirable plants against frost and freezing temperatures. Applying mulch around the base of your plants (especially to newly established plants) gives them an extra layer of protection against the cold and could mean the difference between life and death of these plants.
On top of that, mulching helps to build healthy soil. As the mulch breaks down over time, it adds nutrients to the ground, helping to establish a healthier atmosphere for your plants to grow and thrive.
Tip 2: Leaf Removal
The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of trees, which is fantastic on many levels, not the least of which being that they are aesthetically pleasing. However, trees can create a lot of debris throughout the year, especially during the tail end of fall and into winter. The leaves that fall from trees scatter all over our lawns, fill our gutters, and can cause drainage issues. This is why it is important to remove leaves from these areas as quickly as possible. Leaves left to rest upon your lawn will create dead patches that can be costly to repair. The good news is there are many beneficial ways to use leaves in your landscape. You can place a large quantity of leaves into a compost bin to breakdown and be reused as fertile soil in gardens and flower beds. You can also place leaves directly into your flower beds to be used as a mulch. Of course, having them removed entirely from your property and taken to a recycling center is always an option as well. Whatever, you decide to do with your leaves, it is important that you act quickly to avoid any of the inconveniences that leaves can bring about.
Tip 3: Trimming and Pruning
Trimming and pruning is another important aspect to take care of before the stormy season that is winter officially (and fully) arrives. The cold season is the optimal time to trim and prune your trees, shrubs and bushes. That is because these plants, typically, become dormant during this time and will not be as affected by the shock of the process as they would be during their active growing season. Trimming your trees is especially important to get done as soon as possible. Compromised limbs can threated people, pets, and property so it is vital to remove them as soon as possible. Pruning your shrubs and bushes is important to encourage healthy growth and ensure that these plants will flourish for years to come.
While these tips are essential tasks to complete in order to prepare your landscape for the winter months, we’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done! Fertilizing, further protecting your plants from frost and ongoing maintenance to ensure the health of your lawn are just a few more things to consider during this time of the year as well. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a FREE estimate. Stay warm!