Winter damage to your Lehigh County, PA, lawn and plants can be shocking to see once the snow melts. To avoid the trauma of finding that your shrubs have split or your grass has been drained of color, consider these effective landscape maintenance tips for protecting your lawn and plants as winter approaches:
Schedule a Fall Fertilization
Fertilization before the first frost can help your grass store nutrients for when the spring returns and it begins to green up. To encourage root growth, your landscape contractor may choose a high phosphorus fertilizer, or a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Having your lawn watered throughout the fall will ensure that water consistently penetrates to the roots. Frozen grass and the ground underneath won’t take in water, so establishing a strong root base before the big freeze can be critical to the health of your lawn. Another reason to get on a mowing schedule: It can reduce the possibility of grass getting matted, which can lead to mold problems.
Send Leaves Away
Raked leaves can eliminate the possibility of brown patches of dead grass when piles accumulate. The mulching blade on the mower can tear the leaves into small pieces so that they can decompose into organic matter.
Pay Attention to Shrubs and Trees
Shrubs and trees are not immune to winter weather damage. If trees and shrubs are newly planted in the fall, think about protecting their trunks and branches with a protective outdoor fabric. Burlap can protect the plants from extreme cold and sun damage, as well as wind damage.
Watering well before winter can also be beneficial, to ensure that the roots will grow strong. Mulching with 3-4 inches of protective matter can save the roots from potential damage and help them withstand the extreme conditions of winter.
Prepare for the Season of Salt
Salt is often used to melt ice and snow during the winter, to ensure safety around walkways and driveways. But the excessive use of salt can cause damage to your softscape. You may want to consider alternatives like sand. You could also look into whether a burlap or canvas barrier may help your plantings during the snowstorm months.
Assess the Softscape After Winter
Even with all the preparation, you may still find some patches of dead grass or a shrub that needs to be replaced after a particularly harsh winter. For instance, if you spot a gray or pink crusty-like matter on the grass, this could be snow mold. Once the grass dries out, the snow mold dies, but the effect can be an area of dead grass. You may find some vole damage, as well. This mouse-like creature burrows under snow and eats roots and grass.
To repair any damage that winter has caused to your Lehigh County, PA, lawn and plants, you will want to take stock of areas that require attention. Sometimes dead grass may need to be replanted or sodded. Some trees may need some pruning. Nature’s Accents will help you look for trouble spots and take care of them so that you can fully enjoy your lawn during the warmer seasons.