The wrath of Hurricane Sandy made it abundantly clear: the weather can pack quite a punch, ravaging a landscape in a few brutal moments after it took hours of painstaking work and effort to create.
The approaching Pennsylvania winter should be relatively tame by comparison, but you still should follow a few proactive maintenance steps to protect your landscape design through the winter.
So don’t hang up your clippers and trimmers just yet. Put your gardening clothes on one more time and focus your efforts on a few all-important measures:
- Remove dead and withering flowers and annuals. If in doubt, especially about ornamental grasses and perennials, cut them back and wait to see how or if they survive the winter. Hydrangea bushes, for example, can be particular foolers. Remove the dried blossoms, but leave intact the stalks, even if they look withered.
- Prune damaged or dead branches and tree limbs and cut back rose bushes about one-third. As trees and bushes go into their winter dormant stage, they should draw only from sustainable energy.
- Protect delicate or expensive shrubs and plants in your landscape design under overturned buckets or pots. At the least, wrap them in burlap to protect them from the damaging effects of snow and ice.
- Clean up your garden beds, but think ahead before you do so. You’re correct to want to remove leaves and old stalks, but if you are not planning to mulch your landscape design, you may want to leave them to provide an insulating layer of protection.
- Spread about 3 inches of fresh mulch around perennials, shrubs and trees to protect the roots and to help them retain moisture during the winter.
- Lightly till the soil in your vegetable garden to make your spring effort easier.
If you feel as though the clock is running out on your best fall maintenance efforts, or your landscape design has been damaged or your property eroded by the recent storm, contact Aardweg Landscaping today. We pride ourselves on being the premier landscape resource for homeowners in Strafford, Swarthmore, Villanova, Wayne, Wynnewood, Lower Merion and Newtown Township.
Image by Miss Karen via Flickr