Winter Garden and Landscaping Tasks

November 22, 2011

snowingWinter: It’s time to sit back on your laurels, cozy up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and ignore the garden, right? Well, not quite. Sure, landscaping companies tend to see less business in winter months. However, that may be because many consumers are unaware that springtime growth will be much stronger if a few key winter tasks are performed for landscaping. Portland and Hillsboro landscaping services recommend that homeowners perform the following winter garden tasks.

Continue to Water Evergreens and other Year-Round Specimens

Admittedly, certain areas of the country see quite enough water during the winter months to sustain landscaping – Hillsboro and Portland certainly get enough winter moisture to keep most plants happy. However, depending on the presence of eaves and other overhanging structures, some areas of your yard may be sheltered from winter moisture. Therefore, it’s important to periodically check in with all of your plants to see if they are getting the water they need. If the soil around a certain plant is chronically dry, you may need to move it to a better spot. Landscaping companies can provide more information on the best growing conditions for different species.

Remove Dead Foliage

Dead grasses, branches, vines and leaves should be cleared away from your winter landscaping. Hillsboro and Portland homeowners can save organic detritus to be cut into mulch, or these nutrient-rich plant remnants may be composted.

Plant New Flowers and Veggies

Your garden doesn’t have to be drab in the winter months. You can accent pathways with pots or border plantings of winter pansies, ornamental cabbage and even vegetables such as kale.

Protect Delicate Plants from Winter Weather

Mulching exposed soil will go far toward protecting plants from winter’s chill. Additionally, many broadleaf evergreens require protection if the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. (Landscaping companies sell plenty of broadleaf evergreens here in the Portland area, which rarely sees such low temperatures.) Other tender plants, such as fragrant daphne, require protection if the temperature dips below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect plants during cold spells, cover them with tarps. Remove the tarps if the sun appears, or the plants will get overheated.

A time investment in these winter landscaping tasks will result in a dividend of gorgeous, thriving spring growth.

[ photo by: striatic, on Flickr, via CC License ]