Take a look outside the window and as you gaze upon your home’s backyard, what do you see?
Perhaps there’s a shed in one corner storing your outdoor tool essentials; from wheelbarrows to shovels, lawn mowers to chainsaws. Or maybe your garden boasts lingering fruits, vegetables, and flowers from plantings during spring and summer.
No matter the finer details, it’s easy to overlook the outdoor elements of any home when the cold winds start to blow. Weeknights and weekends come and go, schedules get busy, family takes time — we get it. But before you know it, time and the leaves on the trees have come and gone. Winter is coming.
If the above feels all too real, it’s time for a winter lawn care pep talk.
Getting your yard and lawn ready for winter, in addition to the various accessories they house, not only means less prep work come spring, it also translates to less overall maintenance in the long term. The more you protect these elements from, well, the elements, the longer things will last and more money you’ll save.
Consider these winter lawn care tips when preparing the below aspects of your backyard, front yard, and every outdoor accessory in between for colder weather.
Winter Lawn Care
Let’s start with the big one: your lawn. If you want to see it lush, green, and healthy come spring, it’ll require a bit of nurturing and protection. Both of which can be achieved, with the help of some winter lawn care tips.
For starters, consider your mowing strategy. As summer comes to an end, you should begin to gradually decrease mowing frequency and the length of your grass. Don’t just pack your lawn mower away at the first sign of dropping temps or wait until the last minute for one last cut.
Cutting your lawn super short all at once before winter hits can shock your grass. But leaving it too long can reveal dead spots come spring, caused by nesting and burrowing animals.
Find that happy medium.
Other winter lawn care tips to consider before that first freeze hits are aeration, fertilization, and cleanliness. Fertilization is to your lawn before winter, as honey is to Winnie-the-Pooh before hibernation. You want to provide enough nutrients for it to sustain itself through the colder months and prevent moldy buildup brought on by stagnant wet spots.
Winter Garden Care
From flower to root, there’s more at play in your garden than meets the eye, even as plants begin to go dormant for winter.
Consider the type of plant when putting your winter lawn care tips into action. Since perennials grow back year after year, they tend to require the least amount of preparation — needing just a bit of trimming and mulching. Annuals, however, will require a bit more love in the form of covering, collecting seeds, disposing of dead plants, mulching, and more.
Winter Trees and Shrubs Care
Winter lawn care tips for trees and shrubs can vary based on variety, so it’s important to do a bit of research upfront before transplanting foliage across your yard. Take into account rainfall levels received throughout the summer months. If sparse, you’ll likely want to water heavily before the ground freezes.
Additionally, for younger trees and shrubs, it’ll be a good idea to not only mulch (hello, dead fall leaves!) but fertilize. They may also require coverage with burlap screens as protection from harsh winter wind conditions.
Winter Shed Care
Greenery aside, winter lawn care is also inclusive of the various yard accessories and shelters likely to sit unused when the temperature starts to drop. Portable buildings — sheds, garages, cabins, and gazebos — are just one example of this.
As you would your home, spend time assessing the state of the structure itself. You’ll want to check the roof, windows, and doors. If there appears to be any damage or air gaps, take the time to repair before heavy snowfall, so as to prevent this from getting any worse.
On the inside, keep an eye on mold growth and disinfect as needed. On the outside, avoid clutterings of leaves and other dead plant debris, so as to help in avoiding said mold and potential decay of the outside structure.
Winter Outdoor Furniture Care
Winter care for outdoor furniture will be dependent upon its material. For pieces made of wood and/or metal, wear and tear over time is somewhat inevitable. When possible, consider storing inside during colder months, so as to help in minimizing wear and tear to the finish and/or rust. You’ll likely want to apply necessary primers and waxes as well.
For outdoor poly furniture, storing inside before temperatures freeze certainly isn’t a bad idea. However, from a preparation standpoint, you’ll simply need to wipe down the surfaces with some soap and water.
Winter Mower, Tools, and Other Large Equipment Care
Once your shed is weatherproofed and ready for storage, pile in various tools and equipment. Before doing so, give gardening and any other handyman/-woman tools a good scrub. Leaving caked on mud and debris to sit only fuels the potential for rust and mold.
For lawn mowers, edgers, leaf blowers, and the like, empty out the gas tanks before setting them and forgetting them. This prevents the cause of damage from freezing during the winter months. It’ll also be a good idea to cover them with a tarp for an added layer of protection from dust and/or water.
The more care given to your yard, the more tools you’ll acquire. It’s science.
Be mindful of the clutter buildup in storage, and set your shed or other storage shelters up for organization with wall hooks. Keeping shovels, rakes, ladders, and other tools of the like up and off the ground also helps in preserving their longevity as well.
Final Thoughts: Winter Lawn Care Tips for Your Backyard, Front Yard, Buildings, & Tools
The more yardwork you do now, the less surprise you’ll be subject to once that freeze begins to thaw. Take the above winter lawn care tips to heart, and protect the tools and accessories used in maintaining it for the long term.
Still have questions on how to set your yard up for success in the years to come? Contact the team at Countryside Barns today.