The weather is getting colder, and winter will be here before you know it. Landscaping may not be the first thing you think of doing this season. But in fact, you can tackle plenty of landscaping projects in the winter months. If you recently moved into a new home and have been working to improve the landscape, you don't have to quit as winter rolls in. Here are some winter landscaping projects our real estate agents recommend for a more beautiful facade all year long.
- Decorate With Potted Topiaries
It's too late in the season to plant new evergreen trees in the ground. However, you can visit a garden center and purchase some potted evergreen trees that have been shaped into topiaries. Choose simple, cone-shaped topiaries for a classic look or more unique, animal-shaped topiaries for artistic and modern appeal. You can set one at each corner of your garden bed, adding greenery that lasts through the winter months.
- String Lights on Ornamental Trees
Are there any ornamental trees in your yard, such as crabapples? If so, consider stringing some lights through these trees. Wrap the lights around several of the larger branches, starting at the tip of the branch and working your way toward the trunk. Use white lights for a sparkling winter wonderland look. Or, use colored lights for a more lively and playful mood.
- Put Down Fresh Mulch
If there's no snow on the ground yet, you still have time for this tip. Purchase a few bags of wood mulch, and top off your garden beds. You only need to add another inch or two of mulch to the mulch that's already there. This will freshen up the appearance of your garden beds. It will also get your plants off to a good start in the spring. The mulch will keep the soil warmer, allowing its roots to grow longer and stronger. It will also help prevent weeds from popping up in early spring.
- String Garlands for Hungry Birds
Garlands are festive and wintry. If you make them with cranberries and popcorn, they can also attract birds to your yard during the winter. When it's cold and snowy outside, you'll enjoy seeing cardinals and robins flitting about.
To make your garden, string a long piece of thread with a needle. Gather yourself a bowl of fresh cranberries and popped popcorn. Push the needle through one cranberry, then move it down the string. Add a piece of popcorn, then another cranberry, and so on. When the string is full, cut off the needle and tie a knot in the string. Hang your garland over a bush or shrub.
- Mulch With Pinecones
Pinecones are another wintry touch. They also are a good source of nutrition for plants as they break down. If you have a small garden bed in your yard, consider mulching it with a pile of pinecones. They'll look festive and seasonal throughout the winter, then come spring, they'll start breaking down and nourishing the plants.
- Keep Watering When Temperatures Are Reasonable
As long as temperatures are above freezing, you can and should keep watering your plants. This will help keep them strong and sturdy through the winter, so they come back with thicker, greener leaves in the spring. If there is a winter thaw – a period where temperatures rise for a few days – you can take advantage of this opportunity to water your plants, too.
- Trim Damaged Branches
Late winter is a great time to trim most shrubs and small trees. This is when insects are less active, and there are fewer fungal spores in the air that could lead to an infection.
If there is a winter thaw, you can also take advantage of this time to scan your trees and shrubs for damaged, diseased, or decayed branches. Trim any less-than-healthy branches away. This way, they won't leech nutrients from the tree come spring, and they won't break off and cause damage to your home during a winter storm.
- Put Up a Stone Barrier to Protect Against Salt
Rock salt and other de-icing agents are not healthy for plants. If you have a garden bed close to your driveway or the road, put up a barrier of landscaping rocks. These will help keep salt out of your garden beds. Also, be careful not to apply the salt too close to your garden beds. Consider using calcium chloride rather than sodium chloride, as it is kinder to plants.
- Keep a Plant Journal
Once a week throughout the winter, jot down some notes about the current appearance of your plants. Which bushes have berries? Which ones lose their leaves, and when? When do bushes and plants start budding again for the spring? You'll enjoy having these notes to reference in future years.
Winter does not have to mean pressing "pause" on your landscaping efforts. Follow the tips above, or if you're still looking for a place to call home this winter, contact us. Our friendly agents will be happy to guide you.