Silent snowfall on a winter evening with the sound of a natural wood fire crackling in the background is about as romantic as it gets for cold weather lovers and homebodies. However, this dream of a winter wonderland can soon become a nightmare of piled-high snow, damaged plants, and dead leaves for most homeowners.
Prefer the fantasy winter landscape over the cold, dreary, and often scary option that features you in sweatpants shoveling snow at 5 am? Us too. And the good news is that it’s not that hard to tend to your lawn in the winter to create a magical winter landscape that’ll leave you the envy of the block. Follow along with a few of our winter landscape tips.
How to Create a Magical Winter Landscape at Home
Mulching your lawn in late fall is a great way to insulate your grass and plants to protect against any frost damage. If you have a traditional lawnmower, experts suggest mulch mowing, which consists of mowing over the fallen leaves instead of raking them away. If you don’t have many leaves to mulch, you can add a two to three-inch layer of store-bought mulch to your lawn to preserve moisture before freezing temperatures zap it away.
Don’t Stop Watering
Depending on where you live and how much precipitation you receive during the winter months, you might have to keep watering your lawn throughout the winter. Homeowners that live in places that never see full freezing winter weather (think Texas, Arizona, California, etc.) will need to keep watering as long as it’s above about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Not doing so might not affect the way your winter landscape looks, but it’ll certainly kill your grass and surrounding plants, and that’ll show up when spring comes.
Repair in the Fall
Have systems that need repairing? Plan on making those repairs in the fall. This means repairing any pipes, installing a new irrigation system, adding valves, and fixing anything and everything that’s broken or on its way to broken. Making these repairs in the fall can help ensure you’ve got time for solvent cement to dry, for contractors to come and work, and time to let everything settle before cold weather attacks.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
How do you winterize your sprinkler system? First, you’ll need to turn off the water supply. Then, you’ll begin to insulate the system. This means placing insulation tubes and insulated bags (or simple plastic bags) over sprinklers, valves, and pipes. Make sure you then turn off any automated timers you’ve set or switch the system to winter mode. Lastly, you’ll drain the pipes to prevent and bursts to wreck your winter landscape wonderland.
Don’t Use Salt
If ice is inevitable where you live, and you frequently use salt-based solutions to de-ice your walkways, you’ll want to stop. Salt-based de-icers are a surefire way to kill your grass and plants. This also means that if you live close to a street that’s frequently de-iced using salt-based solutions, you’ll want to cover your evergreen shrubs and trees near the road to ensure that salt doesn’t fly off and cover your plants. Doing so will help preserve your winter landscape and your spring one, too.
Add Some Pots
Don’t be afraid to get creative with winter landscaping to change up the style and “look” of your lawn. It’s encouraged! Evergreen trees and boxwood trees look great when planted in large pots. Line them up along your walkway to detract from your yard if it’s struggling with the cold weather. Or, take to decorating your front porch with different, smaller potted trees to help draw visitors’ eyes towards the welcoming front door.
Plant Winter Trees
Before winter comes, plant trees that thrive in winter weather to create the full effect of a dreamy winter landscape. This includes maple trees, evergreen hollies, and winter flowers such as Christmas roses, winter jasmine, witch hazel, and violets. If you plan enough, you’ll find yourself with a flourishing winter garden that’ll make your home look as if it’s part of a sugar plum fairy dreamscape.
Take Advantage of Lighting
During the winter months, you have one thing working to your advantage in terms of landscaping that you don’t have in any other season: Christmas lights! If you’ve tried everything you could and your lawn is less than perfect this winter, don’t fret; rely on lighting to help frame the perfect winter landscape. Spotlights can help direct attention towards prettier areas whereas Christmas lights strung on the roof help draw the eye upwards.
Maintaining the Perfect Winter Landscape
Need help understanding how to change your lawn care routine from winter to fall? Not sure how to winterize your irrigation system? Need help figuring out which plants and trees work best in your zone? We’re here to help. Get in touch to let us know how we can help you create a beautiful winter landscape.