8 Winter Landscaping Tips for Property Managers
When the winter months approach, landscaping shouldn’t take a back seat to other jobs property managers need to handle. Cold weather requires working on some important landscaping tasks in order to prepare properties for a strong, healthy start in the spring.
Here are 8 key tasks to optimize landscaping before winter hits:
Add Late Season Mulch
By the time fall weather sets in, the mulch laid down in the spring probably looks a little tired and worn. Introducing fresh natural mulch late in the year enhances the look of properties and improves soil quality, insulates roots against frost, and helps keep existing plants healthy. In addition to flowerbeds, give a fresh layer of mulch to plant boxes and tree rings.
Cut Grass Shorter
The most common turf type in the Williamsburg area is tall fescue because it’s ideal for Virginia’s changing seasons and soil types. Fall and winter is the time to lower the mower blade for established tall fescue lawns. Continue to mow as needed throughout the winter at a 2 ½ to 3 inch cut height, and then don’t forget to switch back to 3½ to 4 inches when the weather warms up.
Drop Some Fall Lawn Fertilizer
Applying fertilizer before the first freeze enriches the soil and sets lawns up for a strong start in the spring. Fertilizers containing high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium promote cold tolerance, maintain dense turf, and stimulate spring growth. This nitrogen is vital because it gets stored during the winter and jumpstarts the turf in the spring.
Aerate and Overseed
Aerating lawn turf improves compacted soil and allows air to circulate through it, which helps break down thatch. When doing a fall aeration, it’s a good practice to combine aeration with an overseed. In Virginia, fall soil temperatures are still warm enough for germination. Under the right conditions, new grass will get a few months to establish itself before winter temperatures stop it from growing. It’s a great way to eliminate bare spots and thicken existing turf.
Address Insects, Diseases
Destructive insects and landscape diseases don’t take a break during the winter. They can still impact plants and lawns, ruining a property’s curb appeal and causing a large dent in the landscaping budget. When Williams Landscape & Design maintains properties, our dedicated team can spot potential problems and ensure the health of landscaping in every season.
During the cold weather, trees become dormant and that’s the perfect time to trim. With few exceptions, trimming during the dormant seasons reduces stress on the trees because they don’t need as much energy to bounce back. Trimming trees in the spring can limit blooming potential. Also, pruning in the winter when trees are leafless makes it easier to shape the branches and direct future growth.
Plant Now for Next Year
Landscaping features, including plants, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs, do well when planted in the fall. Getting everything from daffodils to hyacinths to tulips in the ground in autumn allows them to bed before the cold weather sets in and protects them from frost damage. Planning and planting ahead also ensures healthy-looking flowerbeds in spring.
Winterize Sprinkler Systems
Winter weather often comes in much more quickly than anticipated and catches property managers and homeowners by surprise. Avoid frozen sprinkler system pipes by having them winterized in the fall. At Williams Landscape & Design, our team can shut down your irrigation system in the fall and start it up in the spring. We’ll also assess functionality to make sure the system is working optimally to avoid wasted water and poor coverage.
At Williams Landscape Design, our award-winning team in the Williamsburg, VA area is ready to help manage the landscaping on commercial and residential properties year-round. To learn more about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our showroom to see examples of what we can do to maintain your property and boost its curb appeal.