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Putting Your Landscape to Bed for Winter

winter landscape preparation kansas city

Winter is coming and with it colder temperatures. Winter landscape preparation is essential to maintaining your plants’ health and keeping your landscape looking ideal for the next growing season. Here are a few things to check off your fall outdoor chore list.

Protect Plants From Frost or Freeze Damage

Some plants need more protection from cold temperatures than others like roses, small perennials, houseplants and tropicals, spring-blooming and citrus trees, tender bulbs, and warm season vegetables and annuals.

To protect your more delicate blooms, when you think a frost is coming bring houseplants indoors and dig up tender bulbs to store in a cool dry place. To prevent desiccation (drying out), add insulating water to the plant cells and soil, water plants well before the freeze hits.

Your larger plants, shrubs and trees can be covered with fabric like old bedsheets, burlap, or actual commercial frost cloths (never plastic!). Drape the cover over a frame to keep it from direct contact with the foliage, and ensure that your cover drapes all the way to the ground – heat rising from the soil provides the plants insulation. Once the temperature rises above freezing in the morning you can uncover them.

Keep your tender sprouts and plants warm enough by covering them with an inverted bucket, flower pot, or a layer of mulch – being mindful to uncover them again in the morning once the temperature rises above freezing.

Debug Your Houseplants before Bringing Them Inside

Aphids, mealybugs, and other insect pests that aren’t a problem for your potted indoor plants living outdoors for the summer can pose a very big problem, such as a major infestation when you bring them inside for the winter. Avoid that by debugging them before you bring them in.

You can do this by washing the pests off with a strong spray of water, and treating the plant surfaces with a miticide concentrate, let dry, respray with water, and repeat in 7 days. Or you can follow this step-by-step guide to debugging and cleaning potted plants that gets it done in a day.

Protect Young Trees and Shrubs From Animals Eating the Bark

Critters searching for food in the winter like mice, rabbits, voles and deer can cause severe damage to your plants by feeding on the bark. They have even been known to eat shrubs to the ground.

The best way to keep them away and protect your garden is with a barrier. Either a cloth or mesh applied directly to the tree, a plastic tree pipe, or even plastic drain pipe can provide excellent protection, making sure the barrier goes at least two inches into the ground around the tree or shrub to prevent persistent little bunnies from crawling under the barrier.

Deadhead Your Garden For Fall

While deadheading should be an ongoing part of your landscaping routine, it is especially important for winter landscape preparation. Once the leaves have fallen, it’s time to prune and trim your shrubs. Removing all of the dead leaves and debris prevents plants from harboring diseases, and conserves the plant’s energy for reblooming.

Need some help putting your landscape to bed for the winter? Contact us today.