Landscaping Experts Weigh In on Winterizing Measures

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With the snowy season setting in all across the country, landscaping experts are weighing in on how homeowners can maintain outside spaces so that they’ll bounce back in the springtime.

“The biggest lawn care mistake most homeowners make this time of year is doing nothing,” Charles Harris, of major sod supplier Harmony Brands, told a local Fox station Nov. 3. “Much like a bear preparing to hibernate for winter, your lawn also needs attention right now. Don’t wait until spring then assume you can just dump a bunch of chemicals on your lawn to make it healthy.”

So what should this lawn preparation entail?

“Usually … I advise that mowing your lawn tall — about 3 inches — is better. It helps lawns tolerate drought and reduces weed germination,” Tom Atwell wrote in the Portland Press Herald earlier this month. “But for the last mowing of the season, go as low as you can without scalping the turf.”

When grass bends over under the weight of snow, it’s less likely to grow well in the spring, he says. John Schroeder, a landscaper quoted by the Tristate Homepage in a Nov. 11 article, says that grass long enough to bend is also more likely to be plagued by fungus growth.

Shroeder also recommends that trees, shrubs and other perennials be trimmed before Thanksgiving.
Hardscaping Elements

Lawn care isn’t the only outdoor winterizing that needs to be taken care of. Homeowners should also pay attention to non-plant lawn and landscaping elements, such as sprinkler systems and fountains.

Depending of the severity of any given location’s winter, water systems should either be drained or run more frequently, Keith Folsom, president of Springdale Water Gardens in Greenville, VA, told the Associated Press Nov. 18.

If left undrained, water will expand in pipes and hoses as it freezes, causing damage or complete ruptures.

“Running water, on the other hand, prevents icing,” Folsom explained. So any lines that aren’t drained need to be kept constantly circulating.

“Leaves need to be removed from properties because the leaves are extremely acidic which will damage lawns. Right now, you should be putting down a winterizer,” says Pete Cast, Owner at Greenside Up LLC. “Depending on the property, aerating and over-seeding is usually beneficial in the fall. If you don’t treat a lawn for the winter, it will definitely be noticeable come spring. All desidous plants right now need to be fertilized by a professional lawncare company and its also important to tie weaker trees to avoid damage from heavy snow. Speaking to a local professional lawn care company is the best way to make sure your plants receive proper winter treatment to come back healthy in the spring.”

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