Winter Yard Clean Up
We may not see snow but once a year, our children and animals love to play in it but most in Hampton Roads despise it.
Living in here means that late winter might bring ice and snow. To protect ourselves from falling we use a variety of methods to prevent ice and snow from sticking to our sidewalks and driveway. Rock salt, ice melt, and any other de-icing supplements you use help protect you and your family can cause damage to your plants and yard. We are not suggesting that you shouldn’t use them but we want to help protect your green spaces too. As winter will soon come to a close there are some things we should be doing to help get ready for warm weather. Start by removing any remnants from the edges of your yard and picking up any liter or debris that may have landed in your yard.
Once these frigid temperatures leave the beach flush the edges of your lawn that could have come into contact with road and driveway salt. You may even want to apply a layer of gypsum and lime to your yard to balance out the PH and salt levels that have been compacted in over the winter months. Gypsum is very beneficial for yards that have a large of amount of clay in the soil. It helps to clump the clay together and “self-aerate” the lawn.
Prune your landscaping right before new growth starts so you minimize the open wound. Avoid using electric shears, this helps to keep down exterior bulking and allows light to get to the center of the shrub or tree. Ice, cold, and heavy snow often causes branches to break and die, prune back to where the branch is alive for new growth to start. We will discuss more about when, what, and where to prune in the coming weeks in our blogs.
Now is a good time to cut back your grasses and separate last year’s perennials before the upcoming growing season. Grasses should be cut to 2”-3” above the soil level for optimal growth in the spring. A good rule of thumb for dividing perennials is if they bloom early spring to mid-June then you should divide them in the fall. If the perennial blooms after mid-June then it’s best to divide them in the early spring.
If you placed burlap around your trees and plants it will be soon time to remove it. Once removed make sure to clean up any fallen debris. Don’t compost the fallen debris, just bag it up for yard waste collect, it can harbor plant disease. Remove left over mulch from last season to get ready for your new mulch to go down.
Last but not least using a low pressure nozzle, pressure wash those hardscaped walks and patios. Remove any staining from salt and ice melt. Clean off your patio furniture because before you know it the cold will be gone, the warmth will be here and so will entertaining season!
All Photo Credit for this blog goes to Shaun Bizzle