Anyone who’s lived in Northern Colorado for over a year has probably become familiar with the stop-start-stop-again nature of the seasonal change between autumn and winter. One day you’re basking in the sunshine in shirtsleeves, the next, you’re covered head-to-toe in wearable insulation and cursing the heavens as you try to chip the ice from your windshield. The unpredictability of the weather here certainly gives Colorado its character… but it can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Here are some tips from your local Colorado landscaping team for properly winterizing your landscape now, so it can be ready when spring rolls around.
Give your plants a deep drink.
Hydration is essential to the survival of many species, and it’s definitely something that we have in common with our trees, plants, and shrubbery! To give your landscape a deep, pre-winter drink, place the end of your garden hose near the base of a shrub or bush or tree and just let it flow for 20-30 minutes at a slow trickle. Do this in 2-3 spots for each plant. This will allow the roots to absorb as much as they can, so that the plants don’t get dehydrated through the winter.
Give your plants a nice warm blanket.
Before you raid the linen closet, please know: that’s not the kind of blanket we’re talking about. Mulch around your plants and shrubs and layer it quite thickly, while being sure not to press mulch against the actual trunks of the plants, as ithat can invite pests, cause rot, and make your shrub or tree vulnerable to disease. A nice thick layer of mulch piled around the base of your plants without touching their trunks will help them stay warm and insulated from the frigid conditions.
Aerate your lawn.
Aeration will give you a healthier and more attractive lawn. It will also open up places for the lawn fertilizer you’ll be spreading, and help encourage it down deeper into your lawn, where it can work its best. It further allows for the ready transmission of nutrients from aboveground to the lawn’s roots. Aeration is a wonderful means of opening up the soil and loosening compacted areas.
Fertilize your bluegrass.
If your lawn, like most in Colorado, is made up of bluegrass, you will want to give it one last fertilization between the end of September and early to mid November. This will ensure the fertilizer can work its way deep down into the lawn. Make sure you’re using a fertilizer with less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus, as this ratio is key to winterizing your lawn effectively and protecting its roots from becoming damaged.
Pruning weakens trees and shrubs, so doing so before winter means you’ll likely have even more of a mess to clean up in the spring. Cultivating new growth right before a season that cannot sustain that growth is just creating more work for yourself in the future. Unless it’s an overhanging limb threatening your roof, leave the pruning to the warmer months of the year.
Your Colorado landscaping team wants you to know we are always here to assist with any of these or any other fall landscaping chores you need to accomplish. We have the experience, expertise, and understanding about how our state’s crazy weather works, and we’ll be happy to make sure we batten down all of those hatches tightly for you. It’s all good common sense, but it’s a lot of work to do and you can easily find yourself pressed for time with the holidays coming up. We understand completely, and we’re happy to work with you on your autumn landscaping goals.