You’ve spent the better part of a year enjoying your beautiful garden, patio pavers, and concrete walkways. But now that winter is upon us, you may very well find your landscaping covered with snow and ice. You’ll want to take special care of your landscaped areas during the winter so that you can enjoy them for years to come. Here are some tips that will ensure your garden, concrete, and pavers look great for years to come.
Concrete and Pavers
- Avoid Using Deicers on Concrete for the First Year – While some deicers, such as salt, do not chemically react with the concrete, they increase the number of freeze/thaw cycles the concrete must go through. This has the potential of damaging the concrete until it has reached its maximum strength. DON’T use Deicers with Ammonium Nitrate or Ammonium Sulphate, NEVER. These chemicals are often packaged and sold as deicers, but they will rapidly disintegrate concrete. Be cautious of products that claim to “be safe for use on concrete.” Avoid any deicing material the first year if possible, while the concrete is gaining strength.
- Snow Plowing – Aggressive plowing using a metal blade can cause noticeable damage your pavers or decorative concrete driveway. Using a rubber or vinyl-edged blade for snow removal goes a long way toward preservation of your driveway.
- Shoveling Snow and Snow Blowers – When Shoveling snow off sidewalks, use a plastic shovel. Metal shovels can scratch the surface pavers and decorative concrete. These damages can be visually unappealing and costly to fix. For clearing a driveway, use a snow blower which has plastic or vinyl shoes to protect the pavers.
- Sand is Safe – Use sand anytime. One of the few safe materials to use to make the concrete surface skid resistant is plain sand. This can be purchased at many locations. ALWAYS put safety before the appearance of your patio, driveway, sidewalks, or stairs.
- Remove spent annual flowers and vegetables.
- Cut back perennial flowers to the ground, weed the garden well, and top-dress perennials with a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of compost.
- Protect tender perennials, such as rosemary or lavender, by mulching with shredded bark mulch, or pot them to bring indoors.
- Dig and store tender summer bulbs, such as dahlias and cannas.
- Protect hybrid roses with rose cones or bark mulch piled over the crown of the plant after a hard freeze.
- Move containers to a protected location when frost threatens. After a frost, remove soil and plants from containers and store ceramic and clay pots in a garage or basement. Place used potting soil in the compost pile.
- While it’s good to cut back some perennials, some can be left in place, including ornamental grasses and thick-stemmed plants such as Russian sage, taller sedums, and mums.
- If you’ve got a pond, remove fallen leaves and drain the water by 25 to 50 percent. Store the pump indoors, and add a bacterial additive to the water to speed the decomposition of organic matter.
- Wrap up tree trunks This prevents damage to thin-barked species in winter. Use a paper tree wrap starting an inch below the soil up to the lowest branches.
- While some shrub roses don’t require winter protection, others may. Where winters are cold, use rose cones or make a cylinder of your own and fill with chopped leaves for the winter. Remove in early spring.
- Wait until after a hard freeze, then add a protective layer of mulch, woodchips, or shredded leaves to your beds. This will keep the soil at a more even temperature and help prevent soil heaving from forcing plants out of the ground.
If you need help protecting your landscape this winter or planning for spring, contact us today.