The cold season is finally upon us, and it’s a polarizing time. Some people just love the cold winds and rain, since they provide a great backdrop for a cozy day inside with a good book. Some people miss the sun, and are wishing they could fast forward to spring and get back outside. One category of person that might not be especially fond of the cold is those of you with a green thumb. This weather makes it more difficult to get outdoors to care for your landscape. It also makes it harder for your plants to grow and flourish. In this blog we’ve outlined some of the essential tips for not only keeping your yard healthy in the winter, but helping it to thrive.
For future reference, you should always cut your grass short before the cold sets in. However, since we live in California, we tend to get short breaks from the cold even in January and February. Whenever you see the sun starting to peek out, give your lawn a trim. If it’s too cold outside, cutting your lawn can actually damage the grass, since it’s in a weakened state. The typical length to cut a lawn is trimming the top one third of the blades, so be careful not to go too short.
Fertilizer is always helpful for your plants, but it can be especially useful during the cold months. Not to say fertilizing in the summer is bad, but the sun can cause some of the nutrients in the fertilizer to go wasted. During winter, the fertilizer will sit on your landscape longer, allowing your lawn and plants to soak in all the vitamins they can. Be careful about over fertilizing, and always make sure you’re using the correct products on the different types of plants that you’re growing.
You never want to leave things sitting on your lawn for too long, if possible. This can include leaves, broken branches, or even your child’s bike. This is especially important during the winter. Since your grass is at its most vulnerable state, leaving heavy objects (which is almost anything, compared to blades of grass) can push down on the lawn and cause dead spots that won’t grow in as well as the other spots come spring and summer. Leaving objects on top of soil can also compact it, causing the plants that grow nearby to have a more difficult time spreading their roots.
Planning ahead is always the best way to keep your garden healthy. Think of this season as your research time. Keep an eye on each of your plants and trees, and make note of the problems they encounter. There are certainly things that you can do to help them make it through this time, but next winter, you’ll be prepared for the specific perils and be better equipped to protect them from dealing with those issues at all.