Nothing adds warmth and color to your landscape like a colorful blend of bulbs. Bulbs require planning ahead, so it is imperative to plant spring
flowering bulbs in the fall so they will stay cool throughout the winter season and bloom in the spring.
Schedule the winterization and shut down of your sprinkler system to reduce the risk of pipes freezing and other potential damages to your sprinkler system.
Now that nights are longer, lighting can enhance the look and feel of your landscape. Safety issues can also be addressed by path and garage lights. Winter is a perfect time to consider investing in a lighting system. If you currently have a system in place, make sure during fall to verify that all the lights are in proper working order before the winter months.
Winter Interest and Decor:
Schedule holiday decorations for containers to help create cozy entrances and focal points to your home. Garlands and wreaths also make for an inviting welcome for guests. Make sure that your containers are made of material that will stand up to freezing and thawing. Ceramics, terra cottas and thin plastics may not survive. Instead try containers made of concrete, fiberglass, stone, or metal.
Hire a Snow Contractor:
Use a snow contractor that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also recommended to use a snow contractor that will come out after 2 inches of accumulation, and a snow contractor who will come back to clean up drifting snow. If your driveway is brick, make sure they are going to use a plastic or rubber cutting edge on the plow. Check local ordinances to verify where snow can be pushed. In order to help minimize damage to turf, groundcover and shrubs, put up driveway markers to help guide the plow drivers during a heavy snow fall.
Call to schedule dormant pruning for your trees and shrubs to improve tree / shrub health and structure. Pruning also maintains the size and natural form of trees, while extending their useful life. With trees, pruning reduces hazardous limbs. For example, lower limbs that impede pedestrian traffic and automobiles and dead or broken limbs suspended in tree canopy are removed.
Winter mulching is incredibly helpful in protecting your landscape investment. Mulching reduces frost heave and freeze damage, delays the early emergence of bulbs and perennials, insulates perennials from harsh, cold winters and improves soil nutrients. Mulching also keep soil temperature variations to a minimum.
For newly planted trees, it is especially important to wrap them. Sunscald damage occurs when there are rapid temperature changes causing damage to the tree’s bark. Protect multi stemmed evergreen trees from storm damage by tying trunks with nylon of twine. Make sure to remove these items when warmer weather emerges. Sun scald can be prevented by wrapping the trunk with a commercial tree wrap, plastic tree guards or any other light-colored material. The wrap will reflect the sun and keep the bark at a more constant temperature. Newly planted trees should be wrapped for at least two winters and thin-barked species up to five winters or more. Protect multi-stemmed evergreen trees from storm damage by tying trunks with nylon of twine. Make sure to remove these items when warmer weather emerges.
Winter Burn and Salt Spray:
Strong winter winds can increase the water loss through transpiration. Since there is only a limited supply of water available to the plant during winter, this loss of moisture can cause the needles to brown, and in the spring, the plant will continue to decline and may eventually die. Evergreens adjacent to roads and walks where sodium and/or calcium is used to reduce icing are exposed to potential damage from chemicals. The salt solution is absorbed by the plant through the needles and can become toxic to the plant. Protect these evergreens by creating a salt fence with burlap of similar material.
Transfilm is an anti-desiccant that effectively reduces the water loss of plants. Coating the leaves with a thin film of Transfilm can provide a water impermeable barrier that reduces the water loss from transpiration. Transfilm will coat the leaf surface with a clear, glossy film that remains durable and stable.