Winter Landscaping: Planning Your Landscape for Snow Removal
In the immortal words of Ned Stark, “Winter is coming.” You might be rejoicing right now that you no longer have to mow your grass, but pretty soon you’re going to be outside with a shovel or snowblower—and maybe wishing you were pushing a mower instead!
Before the white stuff starts really hits, make sure you and your lawn are prepared for the inevitable snow removal. Here’s how to winterize your landscape so that winter takes a minimal toll on it.
Protect Your Plants From Salt
Rock salt is an effective snow melting agent, but it can also wreak havoc on your grass and other plants. It can cause your plants to suffer from dehydration and will inhibit their growth once the warmer weather returns. Take precautions to protect those plants now, before the snow starts to fall.
Wrap trees, shrubs, and other plants around the base with burlap or plastic to prevent snow from seeping in. When it comes time to apply salt to your driveway or walkways, take care to keep from strewing it on the grass or plants.
You might also want to cut the salt with sand. This stretches it and dilutes its effect on greenery. Alternatively, switch to sand or kitty litter altogether. These don’t melt the snow and ice as effectively as salt, but they do provide traction on slippery walkways.
Prep Your Property for Snow Removal
If you contract with a plowing service (or even if you do it yourself), mark your driveway with reflective poles. This can prevent your yard from being damaged if the plow operator can’t tell where the driveway ends and the grass begins.
In general, a snowblower is a gentler way to clear snow than shoveling. A snowblower also makes it relatively easy to direct the snow into an area where it won’t cause damage, like the end of the driveway, for example.
If you do shovel, shovel early and often. When you wait until the end of a storm to commence clearing away the snow, it will be harder to remove. A buildup of snow also obscures the dividing line between sidewalk and lawn.
When shoveling, try not to pile the snow onto bushes, shrubs, or grass. Heavy, wet piles of snow damage plants of all types. Sometimes, of course, there’s no other place to pile it. If this is the case with your property, take advantage of sunny spring days by spreading the melting snow evenly across the lawn. That way, no one area risks incurring all the damage.
Don’t Forget Your Hardscaping
Fountains, statues, and outdoor appliances like grills can be damaged by snow and ice. Prevent problems down the line by bringing them inside, if possible, or securing them with heavy plastic or taps.
If you’ve recently had a driveway or walkway makeover, double check that it’s protected by a sealant. It’s also a good idea to inspect paths for loose or uneven bricks or stones, or any type of hole or crack. These can catch shovels’ blades or make for a tripping hazard.
Before the winter hits, take a good look around and patch up any problem areas.
Protect Your Winter Landscaping and Enjoy the Season
Once you have taken precautions to protect your lawn, garden, and hardscaping from damage caused by snow removal, you can sit back and enjoy the winter! Skiing, anyone?
Of course, you can always leave the hard work to the experts and call us for safe, effective snow removal services instead. Contact us today!
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