Keeping your lawn and garden in top condition becomes more and more of a challenge as the cold season draws near. During the winter, thick sheets of snow accumulate on your lawn while small plants may get encrusted with hard frosts. Your garden and lawn may look a little lifeless above the ground once the winter season sets in, but there are actually several processes going on below the earth’s surface. Most plants naturally shed their leaves as their metabolism and growth slow down, keeping their buds nourished and ready to bloom for the next spring season.
Plants may have their natural way of adapting to the cold season but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look after them at all. Taking care of your plants in preparation for the cold season actually, makes them healthier and look more blooming once the warm and sunny spring days arrive. Check out these five useful tips to maintaining your lawn and garden as the weather gets colder.
- Clear up the area.
After your plants stop shedding their leaves, you may start to do a cleanup on your lawn and garden. Remember to rake the leaves, twigs, branches, and other debris on the ground as they can be a potential nesting ground for destructive fungi and bacteria. Remove infected foliage to prevent diseases from spreading across your garden. Cuttings and bulbs from annual plants may be stored indoors depending on how the plant species can adapt to the cold season. Perennials should be trimmed off of dry stems right after the first frost occurs in your area.
- Fertilize the soil just right.
With the absence of flowing rain and the hibernation of earthworms during the winter, nutrients in the soil may not be efficiently distributed in your garden. Thus, it is important for you to add the right amount of fertilizer around the plants and lawn to make them more available for absorption. Avoid putting too much fertilizer as it can cause an imbalance to the nutrients in the soil and stunt the growth of your plants.
- Aerate the soil.
Aerating the soil allows more air to flow around the roots of the plants. It also reduces the compaction of the ground and allows the proper circulation of nutrients. Make sure to trim the lawn low and to aerate the soil before the first frost arrives; that is to make it easier for you do work on a soft and damp ground. Avoid watering the lawn and plants too much as the days grow colder to reduce extra moisture that may result in the hardening of the ground.
- Add the right amount of mulch.
When using mulch in your garden, make sure that you apply a thin layer, just enough to prevent birds from eating the seeds which you may have just planted. Add an extra layer of mulch around the trees to protect the soil throughout the winter. You may want to do this after the frost to prevent active critters from burrowing beneath the mulch.
- Protect the trees too.
They may be huge and tough, but trees need extra care too during the winter season. The cold air is usually low in moisture, so make sure to continue to water small plants and trees. You can tell if the amount of water is just right once you feel that the soil is damp and soft. Protect young trees by wrapping them with a netted wire, and thin-barked ones by using paper tree wrap.
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