That beautiful view outside your window needs some loving care.
There’s still time to take a few steps to protect your home and landscape for the winter.
The most important action is to get outside and take a look around for anything unusual because you know your home and conditions that may arise.
To help you with that we’ve created a 3-point checklist.
#1. Protect Your Plants
Be sure all of your plants are sufficiently hydrated for the winter.
WHY: Water protects plants.
The reason for this is that root systems in hydrated soils will freeze and remain protected at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Whereas roots in loose, dry soils will desiccate and burn from air temperatures that can dip well below zero.
Evergreens – Give special attention to watering evergreen trees and shrubs because their foliage is active throughout the winter. Of course, deciduous and ornamental trees and shrubs have already set tender buds for springtime and should get equal care.
Slopes – All plantings on slopes are especially susceptible to drying so take extra time to ensure they are well-watered.
Animals and Frost – It’s advisable to wrap the tree trunks of young deciduous and ornamental trees with paper or burlap tree wrapping to protect against sunscald or frost cracking.
If you do not have fencing protection, an additional measure of flexible corrugated drain tile wrapping should be applied to these trunks to prevent deer and rabbit damage.
#2. Protect Your Home And Hardscapes
Disconnect water sources whenever possible.
Minimize or eliminate water accumulation. Be sure water can flow throughout the fluctuating freeze-thaw temperatures of the season.
WHY: Water that is trapped expands in volume when it freezes.
It also grows further when more water accumulates and freezes on top of it. This is what cracks pipes and connectors and damages anything associated with them.
Outdoor Spigots – It’s always best to shut off the water source within the home whenever possible. If you cannot do this, you need to remove hoses and other connectors to give it room to expand. This includes garden hoses attached to outdoor spigots.
Water Features – Disconnect the feature from its water source and drain the water from it. Pumps should be disconnected and stored in a warm environment.
Gutters – Clean leaves and other debris to be sure water flows. If necessary test this water flow with a garden hose before temperatures drop below freezing.
Underground PVC Drainage Systems – If you have below ground PVC drainage systems you will need to remove the bottom of the corrugated drain tile (slinkies) from the underground PVC system and expand the slinkies to allow them to lay flat on the ground and drain away from the home’s foundation.
Downspouts – If you have corrugated drain tiling attached to your downspouts be sure to follow this same procedure (paragraph above) so that the tile lies flat and drains away from the home. Normally, this is sufficient to prevent problems but every home is different.
Surface Water – If you have sunken pockets against your home’s foundation, it is advisable to add soil to ensure water does not collect there. Surface water should drain away from the home. If it is allowed to collect and freeze it can apply pressure against the foundation.
If you methodically address every scenario, it is possible to fix landscape drainage problems forever.
#3 Tidy And Periodically Inspect
One last tip is to tidy up your property and periodically inspect it this winter.
WHY: Inspection is the best prevention because changes leave valuable clues.
Tidying provides opportunities for noticing what may need attention. Clear the leaves from your lawn and store outdoor furniture and toys or protect them with coverings.
Then take a look around every few weeks to be sure all is well. You’ll sleep better at night and enjoy your time away when you escape with the other snowbirds!
Let us know if we can help with your landscaping needs. We’d love to hear from you.