Winter is nearly upon us! The past few days here in KC have made that clear. People often think of winter as the season that does not require any landscape attention. Well... this is not true! Now is a great time to protect and care for your trees, shrubs, and perennials. Here are 3 tips to put your landscape to bed properly...
1 - Prune hardy perennials and shrubs to prevent winter damage from wind, snow, and ice.
Be sure to wait until you know they are dormant, and the majority of the leaves have dropped from deciduous shrubs, especially roses. Also, be sure to prune each plant properly, according to its needs (angle, bud location, etc). Timing is important, and you don't want to prune to early, which could stimulate new growth that would be damaged by a freeze.
2 - Clean up your beds.
Removing lingering debris and excess plant material from your beds can insure that no fungus, disease, or other pests will hibernate and cause any issues in the spring. Be sure to dispose of any diseased plant material AND surrounding mulch properly in the garbage. DO NOT compost these materials. Some of your perennials like to keep their dormant material as a blanket for winter, so don't get too aggressive (daylily, hosta, etc).
3 - Last, but not least, MULCH!!!
Though we mostly focus on mulch in the spring, to bring a pop of color and fresh blanket of moisture retention, it is important to do the same before winter. The long season (wind, rain, breakdown...) can leave your landscape with a rather thin, and tattered, blanket before winter. Be sure to add a fresh topdressing of mulch. This will help retain moisture through the harsh winter, as well as insulate the soil and roots of your plants. The main cause of plant loss in winter is not due to the foliage freezing, but the root system not having enough moisture or being exposed to temperatures beyond its tolerance. Especially in our transitional zone here in KC. Some plants, like roses, need more mulch than others, to protect them.
Congratulations! You have taken the first step toward protecting your landscape this winter... Getting educated! Now, get out there and get those hands dirty. Or click here to contact us... It's a little easier... and warmer.
Have a blessed day!