Winter can be hard on lawns and landscaping, especially in Boulder where snow certainly isn’t shy about falling in large quantities. Thankfully you can take several steps in fall to help your landscaping through the winter and make sure it’s ready to grow and bloom again come spring.
Rake Often (and Remove Debris)
Blankets of wet leaves can deprive your grass of sunlight and slowly suffocate it. After you spent all summer and fall keeping your lawn nice, the last thing you want is for it to get patchy and brown because of leaves. Rake up the leaves frequently to keep them from building up on the lawn. The same goes for the stray branches that fall from trees. Winter’s wetness will cause them to decay, so remove them as soon as you see them.
As winter sets in use a thick layer of mulch (between two and four inches) around your flowers, shrubs, and trees, making sure to leave a few inches between the mulch layer and tree trunks to prevent decay. The mulch will insulate the ground and the roots, keeping the plants warmer than they would be in unprotected soil. Just remember not to pack it down. If you have some especially sensitive plants in your landscaping you may want to take additional measures to cover them.
Seed Your Lawn
When you generously apply seeding in the season during which grass stops growing, it’s called dormant seeding. You can do it at any time in fall or winter, though colder months are best. Liberally apply grass seed to brown patches. It won’t grow over the winter, but the snow and ice actually help to embed the seeds into the soil. They’ll be ready to grow come spring, and your lawn will bounce back from the cold fast!
Compost Plant Debris
The leaves you rake and any weeds or annuals you pull out of your garden will make great compost. Create a pile in your yard near your garden, and deposit your plant debris there. Turn the pile regularly, and when it looks like soil, it’s ready to use as fertilizer. It’ll give your garden a fall boost that’ll help the plants get through the winter.
Seal Your Deck
An attractive deck is as much part of your landscaping as a garden, tree, or rock formation is. When prepping your lawn and landscaping for winter, don’t just focus on the plants. If your deck is new or if it’s in need of another coat of sealant, take the time to seal the boards so the wood stays nice. Your deck will withstand Boulder’s heavy snow, and come spring will be in great shape for parties and quality time in the sun.
Consider these steps as essentials in year-round lawn maintenance. Though the visual benefits will be less appealing than what your summer work yields, know that you’re doing a lot of good to maintain the hard work you put into your landscaping during the spring and summer.