If you own any type of property, residential or commercial, it’s time to face some bad news: It’s already time to start thinking about preparing your outdoor landscape for winter.
That might seem premature, but cold temperatures, snow, and ice will be coming sooner than you think. It’s a lot easier to take the necessary steps now than it will be when you’re fighting early storms.
There are basically five steps you’ll need to take:
Winter Landscaping Step 1: Snow Removal Plan
It’s good to have a snow removal plan in place now because you’ll get the best pricing and accommodation if your contract is locked down early. Snow and ice removal can be handled in several ways, and you’ll probably want a combination of services. Salting is generally considered the safest and most effective way to clear paths, but you should keep in mind that relying too heavily on salt can damage your landscaping by changing the salinity of the surrounding soil. You don’t want to sabotage yourself for next spring.
Winter Landscaping Step 2: Outdoor Lighting
Make sure your landscape lighting will stand up to snow. That may mean upgrading simple stake lights, or at least supplementing them. People are often going to work and heading home in the dark during winter, so this is a safety issue.
Winter Landscaping Step 3: Hardscapes
Hardscaping such as walkways and patios can be damaged both by the freeze/thaw cycle and by the salt and chemicals used to clear snow and ice in the winter. You can prevent some of this damage by covering concrete or pavers with specialized sealants to minimize chemical burns and water absorption.
Winter Landscaping Step 4: Plant Beds
Annual plants won’t hold up to winter’s chill no matter what you do — that’s why they’re called annuals. But you can preserve as many perennial plants as possible by ensuring that your plant beds have enough mulch, which will regulate soil temperature over the wintertime.
Winter Landscaping Step 5: Trees
If your trees have any damage, they’re likely to develop frost cracks when it gets cold. You may be able to save them by getting special treatments and wraps that are designed to promote wound healing. It’s worth taking care of your trees in the winter; properly placed landscaping provides windbreaks that can cut down on heating costs.
Have you talked to your commercial or residential landscaping company yet about choosing a snow removal plan and getting your outdoor space ready for winter? Join the discussion in the comments.