Dos and Don’ts of Winter Landscaping

Winter is a challenging season for your landscape because the extreme cold can damage trees and grass. It’s much harder to maintain the appearance of your lawn when it’s fully covered in ice and snow. But don’t fret because there are simple ways you can have a beautiful landscape this cold season.

In this blog, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of winter landscaping. Follow our best tips to help your yard shine and protect your trees from extremely cold temperatures.

The Do’s

  • Cut Your Grass

Keeping your grass short will help prevent winter damage. You may follow the one-third rule, which involves removing one-third of the grass blade. For example, if your grass is three inches high, only an inch should be cut off. Start mowing the lawn until it reaches the ideal height of 2 ½ inches. Cutting the grass for winter will prevent frostbite risk and snow mold.

However, do not cut the grass too short. This might weaken the grass blades and overall structure of your lawn. Scalped grass is more susceptible to damage and diseases during the winter.

  • Water Regularly

Plants and trees need water all year round. It goes without saying that water is vital for plant survival. Although they won’t need much water during winter dormancy, your lawn should still be watered periodically. Deep thorough watering at least once or twice a month is more than enough. When your lawn isn’t hydrated over the winter, your plants and shrubs might not survive until spring. Always keep an eye on soil moisture levels to ensure that the roots remain hydrated.

  • Opt for Four-Season Perennials

When you have a year-round garden, your plants are guaranteed to bloom each season. The key to year-round gardening and landscaping is to choose the most appropriate plants in your region. To create balance in your four-season garden, you can choose perennials, annuals, and shrubs. 

We recommend perennials with evergreen foliage because they are great for winter landscaping. Evergreen perennials can stay colorful and thrive even during the coldest months of the year. These are just some ways you can add interest to the winter landscape.

The Don’ts

  • Do Not Use Fertilizer

Grass and trees typically grow dormant in the late fall or early winter. This means that applying fertilizer will not be effective. As much as possible, do not apply fertilizer to frozen ground. The soil won’t be able to absorb the product.

Instead of wintertime, it’s better to fertilize in spring or anytime between March and April. During these months, your grass can take in most nutrients from the fertilizer. Fertilizing in winter is too early for your lawn. This will only encourage premature growth and cause strain on the plants. For best results, apply fertilizer at least six weeks before the winter’s arrival.

  • Do Not Use Harsh Snow Melts

During winter, the grass in your landscape will be covered with snow and ice. That means your lawn and sidewalks will be slick and slippery. Many homeowners use de-icing products and rock salts to melt the snow away. De-icers are commonly used in walkways and icy surfaces to prevent the accumulation of ice.

However, these substances can be toxic to your landscape. They can damage turf and other landscaped areas due to the high levels of salt in these products. While de-icing salts help prevent slips and falls, these can kill plants through burning and dehydration. Talk to a lawn care expert to know more about landscape-safe products for ice and snow removal.

  • Do Not Walk on Your Grass

It’s best to not enter your lawn when it’s frosted during the winter months. Too much traffic can cause too much stress on the grass. Under cold, snowy conditions, grass blades are weaker and more likely to snap off. That’s why landscape experts warn against walking on your grass in winter. In addition, don’t leave heavy equipment on your lawn as it could damage your turf for good.

Key Takeaway

To keep your lawn looking its best throughout winter, make sure to follow our landscaping tips. Midstate Landscaping is a reliable contractor for all your lawn care needs. We specialize in residential and commercial landscaping, hardscaping, and snow removal. For more information about our services, feel free to give us a call today!