With October coming to a end, Minnesota's landscaping season is wrapping up and snow flakes are closing in. Yes, it is that time already. Last year, the first major snow storm of the season swept the state on November, 10th. And who can forget the Halloween blizzard of 1991?
Fortunately, there is still time to prepare for the upcoming Minnesota winter. Winterizing your landscape is critical to maintaining your outdoor living space. Here are some of our favorite tips for winterizing your landscape. So by the time the ice breaks next spring, you can spend less time fixing and more time grilling on your outdoor patio.
- Keep watering through fall. So your tomato plants have succumb to the first frost and your hanging baskets are hanging on their last thread; that doesn't mean you should neglect your landscaping of water. Continuing to give your trees and shrubs a regular dose of water throughout the fall will give them the moister they require to survive the winter. So hook that hose back up! A good inch of water each week should do it.
- Add one last layer of mulch. Winter can be hard on newly planted trees and shrubs. In order to protect their roots from winter damage, apply a thin layer of mulch around the base. But don't get too crazy. Applying too much mulch can cause some unwanted critters to move in and chew through roots.
- Mark your landscape for snow removal. One crash of a snow plow and that $900 freestanding pillar has a glaring 12-inch crack across the base. This tragedy could be avoided by simply marking the edges of your landscaping. Use flags, reflectors, stakes; whatever you're heart desires. Just make sure they are tall enough so we can see them even after that 5-foot snow fall.
- Keep your roof snow-free. Sure, your driveway is cleared off after that last big snow storm (thanks to Groundworks, we hope), but how about that disaster-waiting-to-happen on your roof? It might not seem like this could have a negative effect on your landscaping, but the accumulation of snow on your roof can cause water to melt off down the side of your house and destroy the foundation of your home.
- Try a turf-friendly ice melt. There's not much more dangerous than a slick patch of ice during a Minnesota winter. This year, how about trying some lawn-safe alternatives to your regular salt treatment such as those containing calcium magnesium acetate. This ingredient will keep your sidewalks clear without causing damage to your lawn or your pets.