Weathering the Cold: Landscape Preparation for Winter

a home during the winter seasonYour home does not end when you step out your front door. You should not forget about your landscape, as this area is part of your property, too – and, therefore, your responsibility. For this reason, although you have probably enhanced your indoor insulation and furnace for the winter, you also need to winterize your lawn and yard.

Install a Snowmelt System

According to plumbing and heating company My Buddy The Plumber Heating & Air, LLC, “With a snowmelt system, the snow is gone as soon as it touches the surface.” For these technicians, a snowmelt system is the “easier solution” that will save you thousands in multiple snow blowers.

Your lawn is not limited to what is green and alive. It’s also composed of hardscape elements like benches, water fountains, and even your driveway. By installing a snowmelt system before the cold weather kicks in, you not only avoid straining your back from shoveling snow, but you also make sure all your visitors and loved ones – even passersby – are safe within your property.

A snowmelt system detects snow and ice through built-in sensors, then automatically heats the affected areas. The heat travels through the pipes which are installed on top of any surface.

This snow-clearing solution is useful on many surfaces, including patios and sidewalks. With this, you don’t have to worry about manually salting and shoveling snow off your property. As a result, you reduce slip and fall incidents and back injuries.

Mow the Grass Low

Preparing your grass for the winter begins in the last weeks of summer. During this season, you should lower the cutting base of your lawn. You should do this gradually, so you don’t stress or shock your grass.

If you let your grass grow too tall, you make your lawn attractive to field mice and other burrowing animals looking for a warm nest during the cold season. These animals may cause dead spots on your soil, destroying your lawn.

However, make sure you don’t scorch your lawn by mowing the grass too short. Check the recommended length for the kind of grass you have. Typically, in warmer areas, your grass should be 1.5 inches tall during the winter, while in colder places, the grass length should be at 0.75 inch. When cut at the appropriate height, you reduce fungi growth when it snows.

Aerate the Area

During the winter, the soil may have a reduced water retention capacity, which means essential nutrients and elements will not reach grass roots. Aeration before the winter rolls in facilitates a better flow of water, fertilizer, and other nutrients to the grassroots.

The best time to aerate soil is during the fall. Use a gas-powered lawn aerator to punch holes into the soil, plug out dirt, and prevent soil compaction.

Prepare for Mosquitoes

It is a generally known fact that mosquitoes are less likely to be present at home during winter. However, it is a common misconception that these mosquitoes all die during the winter; some of them survive and still lay eggs.

These insects thrive in areas with a temperature of 80F or higher. But, even during the winter, they can still reproduce. Some species of mosquitoes, such as Aedes Aegypti, lay their eggs before the start of the winter in areas with stagnant water. The adult mosquito dies, but the eggs survive to become the new generation of bloodsuckers.

What you can do to prevent mosquitoes during the winter is to make sure your lawn does not collect stagnant water. Always check your pots and replace water in your fountain or birdbath to prevent these insects from breeding or hiding.

Outdoors and indoors are equally important areas of your property. For this reason, you should also make a checklist of how you can make the outside of your home (lawn and driveway) safe during the winter and after the season.