In our Ohio region, there will be a hint of fall in the air soon, and with it, a harbinger of the colder weather to come. That means, among many other tasks, it's time to winterize our yards. The goal is to shut things down so your plants are protected against the worst that Mother Nature can deliver with wintertime wind and moisture.
Year-round maintenance of your yard will help you keep a step ahead of the other Mansfield homes for sale, should you be planning to list your home. Our REALTORS® have many suggestions for making your property look its best. But to get started, try these six helpful tips to winterize your yard.
Winterize Your Yard Before the Cold Winds Blow
- Clean up your yard
You'll have a few clean-up chores to get ready for winter. They include:
Pull up and get rid of weeds (make sure seeds go with them
Rake up leaves and place them in a compost pile or go over them with a mower to mulch them. Add mulched leaves to flower beds
Trim away limbs that might fall during the winter and damage plants, furnishings, wires or the roof.
- Do some fall planting
Believe it or not, but fall is a great time to plant perennials, shrubs and trees, as long as the soil temperature remains above 40 degrees. Cooler weather reduces stress on the plant so that roots can grow and establish themselves before winter, while in spring, the plants will put their energy into plant growth. It's also a fine time for planting grass seed, when daytime temperatures are still in the 60s or even 70s.
- Aerate the ground
Acquire some inexpensive aerating shoes and walk around your yard, stabbing holes in the soil. Aerating allows air, water and nutrients to work their way into the soil to the benefit of the grass and roots of other plants.
- Fertilize soil and new plantings
Fertilize the grass with fertilizer formulated for winter lawns. These fertilizers have more potassium than warm-weather types, and will help plants that are under stress. Spread fertilizer evenly; do not over-fertilize or you could burn the lawn. Use slow-release, low-nitrogen fertilizers in later fall for trees, shrubs and perennials. Fall applications of fertilizer will be stored in the roots and give plants a boost of nutrients in spring.
- Plan for covering your plants
One way to ensure your plants survive the winter is to cover them. Some delicate plantings or plants in containers may need to be wrapped. You can also cover your flower beds with frost blankets. These covers may only change the temperature a few degrees, but it's usually enough to ensure the plants' survival. The frost blankets exclude cold air and insulate the plants with an air pocket of heat from the soil. The covers are made from woven polypropylene that allows light and water to reach the plants while keeping frost out. UV stabilized, these covers do not break down quickly.
- Cover your beds
Mulch your flower beds and around trees and shrubs, not only to protect roots but also to keep moisture in the ground, should you forget to water as regularly as you should during fall and winter. Use a good quality mulch, piling up a few inches of mulch, but not crowding it against the base of the plant. You can also plant a cover crop or cover a bed with burlap.
Winterizing your yard can ensure it pops into glorious bloom next spring. For more tips on improving your property, contact us today.