Does the recent change in weather make you want to put all your garden tools away and wait until Spring to fix things up? Before you decide to throw in your trowel, here’s a quick list for your home and garden to help you prepare for “Old Man Winter.”
- Lawn fertilization – You still have time to fertilize your lawn now and get it ready for the spring. The ground is now the perfect temperature to absorb the nutrients. There’s no chance of a heat wave in the coming weeks.
- Lawn seeding – Although you may not see the results right away, it’s okay to dormant seed now. Just add a little more than usual. This will give the seeds ample time to penetrate and give your lawn a head start to germinate in the spring.
- Rake those leaves– Rake all the leaves and leave a few shredded on your lawn, put in a compost bin, or lay shredded leaves over your garden beds. If the leaves remain on your lawn in the winter your grass will not be able to get the nutrients from the sun. It will also create an environment for critters to live in during the winter months.
- Winterize your vegetable garden – Remove all dead material and if you wish, you can put shredded leaves over vegetable beds. This will add nutrients back to the soil and prep it for spring time.
- Warm up your garden beds – your plants will benefit from a little warmth this winter if you add about an inch of mulch or shredded leaves.
- Protect your evergreens – Although it is nice to look at your evergreens during the winter months when all else is bare, evergreens can suffer winter damage if not close to a foundation wall where it has some shelter. You can put burlap around them to protect them.
- Pruning – You can do some selective pruning at this time. It is easier now since you are able to see the dead branches. We do recommend pruning during the winter, but if you’d rather be inside enjoying your fireplace when winter arrives, then go ahead and do it now if that’s your preference.
- Clean your gutters – Gutters can get filled with leaves and if you don’t clean them now if will be very difficult and dangerous to do so in the winter. If your gutters gets clogged with muck from leaves, the accumulated water can damage your fascia boards, the water can leak through your foundation, and your gutters may have to be repaired because of the extra weight.
- Check your rain barrels – make sure it is not clogged and your diverter is in working order.
How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. – John Burroughs
- Install a deer fence– If there is a lot of snow on the ground the deer will nibble on anything they can. Protect your landscape with a deer fence all around areas where they can easily have access to.
- Winterize your pond – If you have a pond, cut back your aquatic plants and leave in the water, remove any leaves that are on top. If you have a pond with fish, then stop feeding them now. Put a deicer in the water so that the fish will have oxygen throughout the winter. Also, you still need to add that beneficial bacterial in the water. Make sure you read the instructions since there are different requirements based on pond size. Also, some pumps have to be stored in the winter in a bucket of water while others can be left submerged in the winter. Check your manual.
- Order Firewood– Order your firewood now to avoid getting a delivery in the snow. It’s not fun stacking wood when there is snow on the ground and the temperature is 20 degrees. Make sure it is seasoned firewood. It’s no fun when you are struggling to start a fire with wet wood. I’ve been there.
- Winterize your exterior hose bibs – If you don’t want to have a flooding nightmare when you have freezing temperatures then shut off the valve inside that connects to the outdoor hose bibs. Otherwise, you will have a huge bill to repair the damages.
- Sign your snow plow contract – Don’t wait until the last minute to select your snow plow contractor. If you do you they may not be able to accommodate you.
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