Halloween has past, all the leaves are on the ground smothering the turf and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This is a time of year when we see our landscape as dormant and in need of little or no care; this is not true. Plants have special needs this time of year as they are active even when they appear dormant. Big O Tree and Lawn Service reccommends using this time of year for winterizing your landscape.
What is “Winterizing”?
The roots of a plant continue absorbing nutrients and storing resources in order to flourish in the following spring. It is important for the plant to fulfill certain requirements before hard winter sets in, when true dormancy occurs. We refer to the fulfilling of these requirements as winterizing your landscape. Big O Tree has listed out the steps for beautiful plants and turf come next spring.
During this time of year, while the roots are still actively working, it is important to provide good soil nutrients. This makes this a critical time to ferilize your turf and plants. Fertilization should continue until the soil has frozen.
Inspection and Action
In addition, this time of year grants the opportunity to inspect plants and assess their branch structure. As leaves fall, the structure of the plant is revealed, making defects visible. Based on the assessment of your plants structure, you may need to perform proper pruning or add braces or cables for safety. Pruning can be performed to correct any defects and improve the overall look, health, and safety of the tree or plant. Big O Tree offers a free inspection service contact us today to schedule.
The final special need is water. It is easy to overlook the watering needs of plants in dormancy and to be unaware of the soil moisture levels in the late fall and winter. However, these plants have a crucial need for moisture in order to survive the winter to begin spring healthy. Winter is a very stressful time for plants. The cold air is very dry and will draw moisture from the plant causing damage. Evergreen plants are most susceptible to this type of damage known as desiccation. Because of this they are most in need of supplemental watering. Add water to these plants if there is insufficient rain or snow as the soil begins to freeze. Suspend watering once the soil freezes.
Winterizing your landscape before the soil freezes and winter sets in can be acheived by doing the following:
- Fertilize using a quality slow release product
- Inspect for damage or defects and perform the needed pruning during dormancy
- Keep plants, especially evergreens, well watered until the soil freezes
- Protect evergreens from wind which will desiccate or dry out the plant causing dieback and leaf/needle damage
- Protect from snow and ice accumulation and damage where possible
If you follow these simple steps your landscape will reward you in the spring with good healthy green growth and spectacular blooms.
Good Gardening and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Big O Tree and Lawn Service