Prep Your Yard for Winter
Do the work now, enjoy the benefits in the spring
Whether you like it or not, winter is coming. Depending on where you live, that may mean anything from just needing a sweater to full-on blizzard season. Regardless, a change in the season means changing up how you care for your yard. If you experience more “traditional” winters, read on to learn how to prepare your yard before the snow falls!
Once the last of the leaves have fallen off your trees (and hopefully before any snow falls), give the yard a final clean-up. The raked leaves can either be added to your compost pile, or bag them up and place them at the curb. Another option is to mulch up the leaves with your mower, aiming to get them to dime-sized pieces. The mulched leaves can be left on your yard and will compost over the winter, which will make your lawn happy in the spring! Always be sure to clean up any leaves near building perimeters.
Now is the time to inspect your gutters to make sure they aren’t blocked with leaves or other debris. Clean out any of that gunk, then run your hose along the gutters to rinse them out and to check for proper water flow. If there are any cracks, sags, or loose parts in your gutters or down spouts, they should be replaced or properly secured. You can check out our video on how to properly clean your gutters by clicking here.
Clean Up Branches
Inspect the trees on your property for any dead or dying branches, and remove them as necessary. Excess snow or ice could cause them to break and fall onto your house, vehicles, or even a family member or neighbor. Cutting them back before this can happen will prevent any damage or injuries. Go through the yard and clean up any branches that have already fallen. Once the snow falls and covers them, they could become a tripping hazard.
Paths and Driveways
If you have a gravel driveway or paths through your yard, topping up the gravel can help prevent mud from tracking indoors and water from pooling and freezing in low spots. If you live in a snowy region, frequent shoveling or plowing throughout the winter will cause some of that gravel to be removed. Be sure to remove any items along pathways like tools or gardening equipment, so they don’t become a tripping hazard when covered with snow. If you have patio stone walkways, check for any loose or uneven tiles, and make repairs as necessary.
Shut Off Outdoor Taps
Outdoor taps or faucets should have the water shut off for the winter, to prevent any damage to the lines. Be sure to remove and drain the hose for storage. Locate and close the water shut-off valve for your exterior taps, then head back outside to open the faucet so it can drain. Once that is done, close it up tightly. If you have an irrigation system in your yard, follow the same steps above by closing the water valve, and then opening the irrigation lines so they can drain.
Store or Protect Outdoor Items
If you followed our video on “how to make your own raised garden beds” you may be wondering what to do with them over the winter. One option is to add cold frames over the tops, which forms a greenhouse of sorts as they trap heat and moisture. Another option is to cover your beds with straw instead of a traditional mulch, as it will also act as an insulator.
Smaller bushes and trees can be wrapped in burlap to protect them from winter environments. If you have smaller potted plants, they should be brought inside for the cooler months. Potted plants that are too large for inside should be placed in a sheltered location, and can also be wrapped in burlap for added protection.
Items like your lawn furniture and BBQ should also be stored. If you don’t have a shed or garage for them, invest in some covers to keep them protected from the elements during the winter months.
These basic maintenance tips can help make sure your yard is ready for you to enjoy next spring! If you need to fix up your outdoor equipment over the winter, just search for your model number to find genuine OEM replacement parts. Be sure to follow our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing!