How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

Fall will be here before you know it, which means it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do with your plants this winter. Harsh winter weather can damage or even kill plants if they’re not properly cared for – the low temperatures, shorter days, and cold air can make it extremely difficult for plants to survive and thrive. Hometown Landscape is here with tips to help you get your garden through the winter season. 

How to Keep Plants Alive in Winter: 6 Tips 

  1. Keep watering them thoroughly. Some homeowners assume that because it’s cold out, plants won’t need as much water or that watering them can actually do damage. This is far from the truth – plants need water just as much in winter as they do in summer. Water actually helps to regulate temperature differences between the plant roots and soil and help your plants survive cold and frost. 

Wet soil helps hold in warmth better than dry soil; you should continue to water to keep plants alive in winter, and do a deep water right before cold weather arrives. This is when you water your plants so the soil gets wet about six inches down. Do this once a week before cold weather arrives to help your plants survive the cold temperatures. 

  1. Invest in quality mulch. It’s important to use mulch when preparing to keep your plants alive in winter. Mulch is an excellent way to prevent frost. If you apply a solid layer around your plants, it can help to insulate the ground below as well as ensure that the soil retains more moisture. Just a few inches of a quality mulch can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your plants alive in winter. If you’re worried about cleanup when spring rolls around, use pine straw or wheat mulch to make things easy.

  2. Cover your plants when necessary. Regardless of mulch and watering, you may still have to cover your plants to keep them alive in winter if the weather dictates. We recommend keeping old sheets, blankets, comforters, and tablecloths on hand during the winter season to protect your garden. Just drive stakes into the ground around your plants and use them to anchor the fabric over your plants at night. Plastic sheeting over the fabric will help keep things even more insulated. Word to the wise, though – be sure to remove your plants’ coverings when the sun comes out and temperatures rise. Leaving coverings on when things warm up can do more harm than good.

  3. Protect delicate trees. Delicate trees may need a helping hand to keep them alive in winter, too. Trees with thin or smooth bark may benefit from a tree wrap when cold weather hits. A wrap will protect them from sunscald – this is when temperatures drop and rise consistently, leading to freezing and thawing of water in the trunk over and over. Just be sure to remove the wrap in the spring to avoid damage to your trees.

  4. Consider overwintering your plants inside. Some plants might fare better inside your home for the winter season, especially if they’re already potted (potted plants are more susceptible to damage from the cold). If you do choose to bring plants inside, be sure that they can handle the drier conditions inside of your home and that they’re getting enough water and light.

  5. Ensure they’re getting the light they need. The days are shorter in the fall and winter, which means it’s critical to ensure your plants are getting the light they require to thrive during daylight hours. You may want to reposition potted plants and above ground beds to ensure they’re getting enough sunlight, and trim back trees and shrubs to provide enough light for plants around them. If you’re overwintering plants inside your home, be sure that their location allots them enough sunlight. 

Related: The Key to Thriving Shrubs and Trees in Winter

And it’s never a bad idea to propagate cuttings. Some plants may not survive harsh winter weather no matter what you do, so it’s a good idea to have a backup for the spring. Propagating cuttings is an easy and affordable way to start new plants in the spring season. 

Get more tips on how to prepare your yard for winter 

Have questions about how to prepare your yard for the winter? Contact Hometown Landscape today for tips.