This winter has been one of the worst in years – and in some areas of the country, even decades. That severe weather, including snow and ice, has wreaked havoc in many parts of the United States. All of this winter weather could mean damage to your yard. Here are some tips to clean up your yard and prevent winter yard damage:
Clean up rock salt and other deicing products
Using rock salt, ice melt, and other liquid or solid products to deice the sidewalk or the street may be important in the winter to keep you from falling or sliding around on the roads. But some of the products can potentially cause damage to your greenery. When the snow starts to melt, make sure that you clear off the deicing materials off your lawn, shrubs and trees to potentially protect against any winter yard damage. Apply gypsum to the areas of the lawn where road salt or salt from the driveway or sidewalks may have made contact.
Prune trees and shrubs
You may have put burlap around your trees or shrubs to protect them from the worst of the winter. If so, now is a great time to remove the burlap. However, winter storms may have done damage to the shrubs or trees in your yard. Make sure that you clean up your yard by pruning any branches damaged by the winter, so that new growth can take its place.
Remove dead materials and litter
One of the pitfalls from winter is that many things may blow onto your lawn that do not need to be there. Once the snow melts, you may see that litter has made it onto your lawn. Obviously, you need to clean it up. Other things you will need to remove include leaves, pinecones, fallen tree branches, and dog waste that may have ended up on your lawn.
If you did not get rid of any existing weeds at the end of fall, apply weed controls when temperatures are 50 degrees F or higher. Do not put the weeds in the compost pile, though, as they could sprout and overwhelm your yard.
Trim back perennials and remove annuals
Cut back the dead leaves and branches on your perennials to ensure future growth. In addition, if you have some annuals that you did not remove in the fall, now would be a good time to do so. Much of this plant material could end up in your composting bin.
Treat snow mold
You may have an unpleasant surprise after winter – snow mold. This is common in areas with significant snowfall. In areas that have been matted down by the snow mold, use a leaf rake to remove the dead leaves and allow the lawn to recover.
Fertilize for spring
Now is a good time to start on spring fertilizing to get your yard ready for summer enjoyment. Use a fertilizer which includes crabgrass preventer. Follow label directions to avoid over-fertilization.
Before you know it, spring will be here. If you have any questions about getting your yard ready for the season, reach out to Lawn Doctor for further assistance.
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By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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