Your plants, grass, and trees face a huge challenge each winter. It's often not the extreme cold that causes damage—it's the sudden changes in temperature like temporary thaws, sudden frosts, or fierce winds. Deer and other animals, hungry and hunting for food, can also be threats to your yard. Check out these strategies to prep your yard for winter.
Protect Young Trees
Have you installed any young trees this year? You will need to take extra precautions to protect them against the wind and weather of the cold season. Wrap the newly planted trees with a tree guard, usually made out of plastic, often including some insulation. If you have fruit trees, keep in mind that they are especially susceptible to sun scald and will need extra covering, such as a frost shield or anti-transparent. This is typically a spray-on solution to protect the bark and lower the risk of moisture loss.
Wrap or Shield Your Shrubs
Like young trees, newly planted shrubs can be fairly delicate and may die during the winter if they are not protected from snow, frost, wind, and sun. Many people choose to enfold shrubs in a burlap covering, tied in place loosely with twine or rope. Keep watering the shrubs until the soil freezes and be sure to apply a layer of two to four inches of mulch around the roots of the hedge or bushes.
Water Your Evergreens
Conifers and broadleaf evergreens do not completely stop growing during the winter. Since they aren't deeply dormant like some other plants and trees, you may need to provide them with some extra water up until the point when the ground freezes completely. Keep an eye on trees after a snow storm and gently brush heavy loads of snow off the branches if you're afraid the branches might break. However, do not attempt to remove an icy coating from branches, since you might break twigs off or shock the trees by dousing them in warm water.
Keep Salt Away from Plants and Trees
As you move into winter, keep in mind that the harsh salts used to treat roads, paths, and driveways can be very harmful to plants. Whenever possible, keep a wide berth between such salt applications and your shrubs, trees, and other plants. Consider other options such as sand or gravel to provide additional traction for those walking and driving; or mulch and cover any plants near such areas to minimize the damage.
Put Up Fences or Coverings
Fences can discourage deer and other animals from coming to gnaw on your plants and shrubs and tender young trees, but burlap coverings are even better. You can also use tarpaulin covers stretched over frames to protect delicate plants such as rosebushes that can't sustain a burlap wrap.
Search the Kurtz Bros website for all the mulch, salt, sand, wraps, and other supplies that you need to prep your yard for winter. Our lawn care experts are happy to answer any questions you may have about caring for your outdoor space throughout the cold season.