Winter is coming, and that’s not a metaphor. In short order, any remaining leaves will fall and the blistering cold will howl through the streets spraying snow. But before that happens, it’s time to shift your yard into winter-mode. Thoughtful winterizing helps to protect your plants and other landscaping elements from the harsh cold while also safeguarding your home’s curb appeal during the coming months.
Design Your Landscape with Winter in Mind.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is consider winter when working with your landscaper or designing your yard yourself. While Calgary doesn’t get a massive amount of snow compared to the maritimes, we get our fair share, and that snow has to go somewhere.
Snow management professionals recommend designing your yard with snow storage top of mind. Leave an open space all along the edge of your driveway and sidewalk to pile snow all winter. Avoid obstacles, such as light posts or a mailbox, right beside the driveway and avoid designing a narrow driveway that may be difficult to navigate when snow is pressing in from all sides.
Everyone knows that water damages wood. This is because wood absorbs any water it comes in contact with, swelling and blistering the surface. Wood hardscape elements, like a deck, should be painted (or otherwise sealed) before the snow arrives. A little work now, will help to both extend the life of your wooden structures and prevent slivers in little feet if your kids are out barefoot. A freshly painted deck also ensures your yard looks well kept and maintained even if the flowerbeds are a little barren.
Any patio furniture (like chairs, benches, and especially any cushions!) that can be stored away from the elements, should be. Bring them into the basement or attic is ideal, but even storing them in an outdoor shed will go a longways.
Like wood, concrete and rock are vulnerable to water. Once water seeps into cracks in asphalt, stone, or concrete, it can freeze. Frozen water expands which forces the crack apart. This pushes the halves of your sidewalk or driveway away from one another. Make sure any cracks are filled, and the surfaces are sealed to protect them from erosion before the snow stays for good.
Freshen the Mulch!
Finally, you need to protect your trees, shrubs, and dormant perennials. Calgary’s yo-yoing extremes of harsh cold and mild chinooks can severely damage your plants. As the soil cycles through freezes and thaws, your trees can begin to wake up. When the temperatures plummet again, the running sap freezes, expands, and tears your trees apart.
An insulating layer of mulch keeps soil temperature and your plants’ roots at a consistent temperature. It takes numerous days of a high or low for the soil to begin to thaw or fall into a deeper freeze. This prevents your trees from preemptively waking up, and it ensures your bulbs and other perennials don’t get too warm or too cold — which can cause deformations in the flower.
Summer may be over, but there’s still plenty of work for Calgary landscapers and gardeners to get done. If you haven’t got around to mulching just yet, there’s still time! Order your mulch online from Soil Kings today, and we’ll deliver it tomorrow! If you prefer to speak with one of our landscaping product experts first, give us a call at 403-452-LOAM (5626).