Winter is when very few people think about their yard and garden, yet it is when major problems can occur. Here are a few ways to keep your lawn and garden looking good until the next growing season. Read this to for how else to winterize in fall.
Install Winter Flowers
If you haven't done so yet, rip out those poor looking summer annuals and replace them with some fresh winter annuals. Pansies, violas, snapdragons and ornamental kale will add some color to a drab landscape in the winter months.
Mulch Your Garden
Mulching your landscape will help retain moisture and heat for your plants during the hard winter months. It will also reduce the number of weeds that start growing between your plants. Additionally, mulching will help your garden keep a crisp and fresh look during the winter.
Water Your Trees
Evergreen trees especially, but also deciduous trees, still need water in winter. Please make sure they are well hydrated by watering your trees before the first big freeze of the year. This will help to keep them nice and healthy during the winter so they will look great next spring.
Winterize Your Irrigation System
This is important in areas where the temperature really drops. Failure to winterize your irrigation system will lead to the water in it expanding and breaking pipes and gauges. Winterizing in southern Louisiana is usually as simple and turning off your irrigation water main and draining the back flow regulator.
Save Your Potted Plants
Bring in your prized plant for the winter. It will make life for you a lot easier. If you cannot bring it inside, be ready for many nights of using landscape blankets and possibly heat lamps. If you cannot save your plants, wash the pots and store them in your garage.
Grow Rye Grass
Adding rye grass will lessen your soil's compaction and reduce potential weeds. Also, it looks really good to have one of the only green lawns during winter.
Professional Landscape Services
GreenSeasons will perform any of these services for you. We provide landscaping, lawn care and pest control services in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans, Slidell, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like any of these services, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
Prune and Mulch
It is time for the final pruning of the year when your plants stop growing. This will not only keep the exterior of your home looking great for the next few months, it also keeps your home from getting mildew and fungus on it. By keeping a one to two foot gap between your home and your shrubs, you will help ensure proper airflow and keep the mildew and mold away. It is a great time to trim dead tree branches. You will allow more sunlight to warm your home and you remove the danger of those branches falling due to winter storms.
Mulching after your final pruning will keep your landscape looking fresh for the winter and will conceal any leaves you "forgot" to pick up. It will also prevent splashing from rain hitting the soil which can cause diseases in plants.
Clean Out Those Gutters
Lets be honest, most of us still have leaves in our gutters from last fall. The decomposing leaves in your gutters are home to insects, mold and mildew. They also hold water directly against your house causing wood rot and corrosion. Lets not forget that all the leaves stop the gutters from doing what they were installed to do in the first place.
To remove the leaves from your gutters, you can get a sturdy ladder and a plastic scoop fashioned from an empty jug with a handle. If you have some non-slip boots and a roof that isn't very steep, you can use a leaf blower.
Pressure Wash Your Home
Cleaning your home with a pressure washer will not only have your home looking great for the winter, but also expose openings and chipping paint. Additionally, by removing the excess dirt and grime you will remove the places for algae and water to sit.
After pressure washing your home, you may have areas with cracked, chipped or peeled paint. It is a great time to scrape and sand those areas down and use some touch up paint to shore your home up for winter. Those areas are places where moisture will penetrate the wood and cause rot which will be a much more expensive and time consuming repair.
Wrap your pipes with an insulated wrap. Use insulated covering over all of your outdoor water outlet. This is one of the easiest things to do and can save you the biggest headache, as anyone who has had a cracked water pipe will tell you. If you have a raised house, be sure your exposed pipes under your house are also wrapped. Check your air conditioning ducts for tears or cracks also. Every year there seems to be a rush on these insulated coverings the first week freezing temperatures are expected, so beat the rush.
Seal cracks and gaps
This is the big one. Really searching for and fixing these will save you a ton on your heating bill this winter. Be sure to check anywhere there is an opening in your home: doors, windows, attic pull down doors, garage doors, recessed lighting, and anywhere pipe first enters or exits your house. Weather stripping the bottom of your doors is a great place to start as a worn weather strip is a large area for heat to your home's interior. There is a fabric tent for your attic door that adds additional insulation to keep your home a steady temperature without having to run the heater unnecessarily.
Insulate Your Attic
Check your attic's insulation. If you can see your rafters, you don't have enough insulation. Also, loose fill insulation, like the one shown, lose their insulating ability over time as they settle. If you haven't added insulation in your attic in a while, now is a great time to look into it. More information on insulating and weather proofing can be found on the Department of Energy's website.