Winter is coming.
As Calgarians, we all instinctively know Old Man Winter’s on his way. But putting that knowledge into practical action is a totally different thing – why prepare your yard (or anything else) for winter when those warm, glorious days of summer are such a fresh memory?!
Yet preparation is absolutely necessary. Commercials are already telling you to get those winter tires on your car, Christmas advertising is already in full swing, and the flannel sheets are in the wash. But not enough attention is paid to what needs to be done to ready your lawn and garden for the winter months… Which is too bad, since a healthy yard is a beautiful yard and proper winter maintenance is integral to keeping your front and back yard happy & healthy.
Follow these 7 tips for winter lawn maintenance and watch as your yard thanks you in the warmer times ahead!
1: Tidy up.
While it may seem like a given, not everyone cleans up their garden once the season ends. Choose a nice fall day to get out there and remove those now-dead annuals, pull those weeds, cut back any unkempt cotoneasters, loose lilacs, and pathetic perennials that have dead, brown flower stalks sticking out of the soil. Bring in your garden hoses, clear out the gutters, tidy your tools, and make sure your outdoor spigots are shut off.
As for those dead leaves, you can compost them, mulch them, make some fantastic leaf mold with them, or dispose of them.
2: Trim those evergreens.
Even though evergreens are relatively low-maintenance, they still need some love and attention every so often! Fall is the perfect time to cut off those dry, dead branches and diseased-looking leaves, while also raking away the old (and potentially disease-bearing) mulch and replacing it with clean new stuff.
Once the ground freezes (but not before), add a 6inches/15cms of organic mulch to your garden beds. Doing this before it freezes will be an open invite to critters and pests looking for a cozy place to stay this winter. Doing it after the ground freezes ensures your bed will be well insulated and have a full supply of nutrients come the spring.
Mulching is especially important for roses. Depending on what type of rosebush you have, you may just need to build up a hearty mound of quality fresh mulch, or for fancier roses (such as rose trees, hybrid and tea roses) you may need to insulate the entire plant before covering it with burlap. For more information on how to protect your beloved roses from the harsh Albertan winters, be sure to read this useful article from ICanGarden.com
4: Protect your trees.
It’s hard to monitor the health of young trees over the snowy winter months, and all too often spring will come and you’ll find that some sneaky varmint feasted upon your poor young tree’s bark while under the cover of snow. Give these trees a fighting chance by wrapping their delicate trunks with wire or specially made tree guards.
5: Cover any flower bulbs.
If you have any tulips, daffodils, irises, lilies, etc. then be sure to protect them from harsh Calgary winters by covering those beds with some evergreen boughs. While most of these flowers are quite resilient, they will definitely benefit from this easy protective measure and come back even stronger next spring.
We get a lot of snow in southern Alberta, and that fluffy white stuff can really get heavy once it begins to layer up. Aerating your lawn before the snows fly is a great way to loosen the soil and help it withstand the snow’s compaction. Be sure to add an appropriate fertilizer when you aerate in the fall too – this way you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, lush green lawn once the snows recede and the warmth returns.
7: Call us!
We are your lawn care specialists with years of experience in lawn care and garden maintenance. We’re here to answer any questions you may have, as well as offer professional advice and quality services to help your yard look its very best.