With the winter weather fast approaching and the persistent onslaught of frozen precipitation it’s bound to bring, there is no better time than the present to prepare. Fall is a good time as any to get ready for the winter. Many people begin to put snow tires on their cars, reseal their windows to better trap the heat, and bring their winter clothing out of storage. But what about your lawn and garden?
The first fall frost usually occurs on the first day after summer ends when it’s cold enough outside for the ground to freeze. When the ground freezes, annual plants die, and perennials go into dormancy for the winter. The first fall frost can be as early as September, sometimes even late August, depending on where you live. So before winter weather rears its frightful head and puts us knee-deep in snow and ice, here are a few things you can do now to save yourself hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Checkout our blog on a Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist.
Rake up fallen leaves. Leaf removal seems to be the most tedious of jobs, but someone has to do it. Prepare your yard for winter by raking fallen leaves, shrubs and trees. Try not to wait till all the leaves have fallen off your trees. Rake the leaves as soon as possible to prevent them from clumping together when wet and becoming hazards. Also, leaves that pile up can suffocate your grass and lead to fungal infections, so it’s best to get rid of leaves as soon as they drop.
Clean gutters. While you’re out there cleaning up the leaves from the grass, make sure to clean out your gutters. Accumulated debris keeps melted snow and ice from flowing freely, which can cause gutters to freeze and clog. Whether you prefer to do it yourself or pay someone, clogged leaves can cause costly problems like water damage and termite nesting. You can also put loose leaves to good use by bagging chopped leaves and using them as mulch or adding them to your compost pile.
Mow the lawn. Just because the growing season is over doesn’t mean you can skip out on mowing the lawn. In fact, this may be the most crucial time to maintain the grass, especially in areas with a lot of snow. If you leave grass too long, you run the risk of the blades matting underneath the snow and developing snow mould disease, which will cause bare spots in the spring. And if you cut it too short, you can damage the roots causing sections to die out. Mow lawns to at least 4inches to protect the grass from snow. Overseed with ryegrass and apply a winter fertilizer to encourage thicker root growth. Home Depot has a tremendous beginner-friendly guide on seeding your yard here.
Protect your plants. Annuals don’t last over the winter, so once you notice they’ve stopped producing, pull them out. Your yard will look neater over the long winter months, and you’ll thank yourself come springtime when there’s a lot less work to do. Insulate the roots of potted plants and keep them away from huge temperature swings. Prevent plants from soaking up too much heat from the sun or freezing at night by moving potted plants to the shade and placing the pot on dirt instead of the pavement.
Store away outdoor furniture and gardening tools. Properly drain outside water features like swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains and waterfalls. Clean and cover outdoor furniture, making sure it’s snug and secure for winter. Once you’ve finished winterizing your yard, get all your gardening gear put away in an accessible place.
Plan ahead. Don’t wait for the first ice storm to buy ice melt or hire a snow removal service. Whether it’s your neighbour’s son or a professional snow removal service, make plans now before the first blizzard is in the forecast. Make sure to pick up a few bags of salt as soon as you begin seeing them in stores. Magnesium chloride blends are the best ice melts for your furry friends. And for traction on concrete, use a sand and ice blend.
Life is not all about yard work and chores. Once your home is ready for the winter season, get outside and enjoy the many East Gwillimbury wintertime activities close to your Queensville home. Have a look at our amenities map here to get started.