No more yard work until spring, right? Maybe not!

So you’ve gotten rid of all of your leaves (and your neighbors leaves), you’ve mowed your last mow of the season —  you can basically put that debris bin into storage until spring, right? 

Wrong! Winter is a crucial season for prepping the plants you currently have and preparing for future projects. Let’s review a few simple steps to make your March less of a hassle and explore options that will ensure your yard is looking great during the colder months for years to come.

Protecting your trees and shrubs from the cold

Lay down some mulch! Grab some gloves and spread it throughout your flower beds and around the base of your trees. This is the simplest and most effective way to protect your landscape. 

But wait, you might think to yourself, “What is mulch?” Mulch can be many things! Wood chips, pine bark, grass clippings, leaves from your trees. These materials decompose over time adding natural nutrients to the surrounding soil and at the same time, help to save plant roots from freezing. It’s also a great way to keep your yard aesthetically pleasing when there’s not a whole lot to look at.

After you’ve laid the mulch, wrap up your new and fragile plants to protect them from the frost and snow. That new tree you planted or those beautiful roses you’ve had for years, they need protection too. 

Tree wrap or burlap will help to protect the saplings from the cold and away from animals that see them as a quick snack. A cone shaped mound of soil at the base of your rose bushes to protect the plant from freezing weather is a quick way to keep the plant safe until their spring bloom. Both the burlap and soil can be removed when you begin to notice new growth in the coming months. Burlap can be stowed away to use next year and the soil can be spread flat.

Guarding your grass

Your first step? Ensure your grass is debris-free. Remember the mulch we mentioned? Those pesky last few leaves just need to be swept to the side. Grass covered in leaves over the course of winter can lead to dead grass and unsightly spots in your yard. 

Secondly, double-check to see if your final mow was shorter than previous mows throughout summer. Final mows should be set at 2-2.5 inches to help deter insects and protect new growth.

It might be too late now, but it’s a good idea to aerate your lawn before the first freeze. Muddy lawns can be a drag, especially if you have pets. Aerating can help bring the water and moisture down to the root of the grass- use that free water to your advantage! Throw some fertilizer on there while you’re at it and your grass will be happy when the sun starts making its appearance again.

Know your Zone

Not your zip code, not your area code, your hardiness zone. Did you know that Vancouver, WA falls into the 8b hardiness zone? Plants that thrive in that zone will thrive in your yard and survive the crazy weather we often see here in the Pacific Northwest. 

So while planting a bird of paradise sounds like a fun idea at the time, our climate will probably have other ideas. Investing in plants that thrive in our area is your best bet in creating a beautiful landscape that will continue to bloom year over year. Look closely at the labels many plants come with, or don’t hesitate to do a quick Google search to ensure that the newest plant you’re pining can thrive in our area.

Sure, it’s winter, but it’s still great to be outside!

Not everyone has the luxury of hibernating during the colder months, nor do we need to! So let’s get to work, shall we? Better yet, let us get to work! 

The time to start preparing your yard for spring is now. Call Greenhaven today, we’d love to help you shape up your yard into the yard of your dreams.