Our recent snowfall should act as a warning that winter really is coming soon. However, it’s still possible to protect your landscape while also keeping your family and visitors safe this winter. When the snow begins piling up, that’s not the time to have the work done. Many winter preparation projects should have been done weeks or even months ago.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind as winter descends upon us:
• When shoveling or blowing snow, don’t let it pile up on planting beds, especially those with shrubs in them. Instead, spread the snow evenly across the beds.
• Piling snow against trees will provide cover for critters to eat the bark and will apply pressure to one side of the tree. This could eventually lead to failure. Instead, keep snow approximately six inches away from the trunk, as you do with mulch.
• Use sand, kitty litter sawdust or ashes rather than salt for traction on sidewalks and driveways. Salt can kill grass and damage the soil in flower beds. Traction is the goal, melting the ice is a bonus.
• Beating on tree or shrub branches to remove snow or ice can damage the plant. Branches are brittle in the winter; if you start whacking on them, you may break branches. This will leave the plant vulnerable to insects and disease. The best thing to do is to let the ice and snow melt naturally.
• Leaving fruit on the ground around fruit trees can attract insects and diseases. You should gather up any fallen fruit and put it in the compost bin.
Follow these recommendations and you’ll protect both your family and your landscape.
Have a good winter.