Winter Landscaping Tips

Posted on | February 13, 2013 | 2 Comments

Winter is a time to relax by the fire and enjoy the seasonal view. But even though there may not be much hard work to do outdoors, it isn’t exactly time to rest on our laurels when it comes to landscaping. To find out some tips on caring for our lawns during colder months, we chatted with Raleigh landscaper, Kevin Fontaine, of Fontaine Landscaping

Images Courtesy of Fontaine Landscaping ©

Kevin notes that there are several ways to care for your grass. First off, avoid fertilizing. “In winter, grass is dormant,” he explains. “There won’t be any uptake by the roots – the fertilizer will just sit there in the ground. Winter is, however, a great time to put down lime, which will help balance your soil’s pH and provide a more ideal environment for lawn and plant growth.”

Even at this time of year, you may not be able to escape a little weeding. “Winter in North Carolina can bring occasional spikes of 70-plus degree temperatures,” Kevin says. “That’s enough for weeds like chickweed, henbit and bittercress to germinate and grow. I recommend treating any wintertime weeds which pop up with an herbicide that’s formulated to work with cold temperatures.”

Kevin stresses that keeping a tidy lawn is also important in wintertime. “Leaves and other debris can smother grass, promote disease and invite pests. Also, avoid walking on frozen grass, as it’s very vulnerable to loss and damage from foot traffic.”

Don’t forget your trees and shrubs. “During the winter you should remove old leaves and brush from under plants, also thinning and pruning your trees and bush canopies,” notes Kevin. “This gives plants the best possible sunlight and air flow. Remember to regularly water any new plants that are not yet rooted in. This is the time to apply a coating of horticultural oil to trees with infestation issues. The oil will smother any overwintering eggs.”

Wintertime is ideal for thinking ahead to your spring garden. “Even if you’re dealing with a small area, it’s crucial to have a plan in place – and if you don’t have one – this is a great time to start,” Kevin affirms. “Think about the type of garden you want, and contact a good, reputable landscape designer to help choose the right plants for the right spots. Also, service your lawn equipment so it’s ready to go in the spring. Repaint exposed metal, lubricate metal parts, sharpen blades, change the oil, and empty the gas tanks.”

The bottom line is, as Kevin has pointed out, if you invest a bit of TLC, some planning and a little sweat in your landscaping in the winter, you’ll be laying the groundwork for a beautiful yard come spring and summer.

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2 Responses to “Winter Landscaping Tips”

  1. Amy Vermillion Interiors
    February 13th, 2013 @ 8:27 AM

    Great tips! My lawn always needs a vacation after the winter! And yes, it’s weird when weeds start growing in February. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Liz Hughes
    February 13th, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

    Glad you liked this, Amy. The landscape behind my house desperately need for spring to come. I am one of those that left the leaves down for a bit too long and the ground cover is looking kind of sad. I will never make that mistake again!


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