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Denver Sprinkler Service Explains How to Get Your Landscaping Ready for Winter


December 12, 2018

Winter will be here before you know it. While it may be the perfect season to enjoy hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, and festive holiday cheer, it can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Most homeowners know that scheduling a blowout with their Denver sprinkler repair company is the first step towards getting the landscaping ready for colder weather, but it’s not the only step you need to take. 

It should come as no surprise that some of your plants will die during the winter. Others, however, simply lie dormant. When they’re properly cared for, those plants will rebound during the spring, creating beautiful new growth. When they’re neglected during the winter, your yard will require extensive care and attention before the growing season begins in earnest. Here are a few ways to give those perennial plants and shrubs a leg up during the winter. 

Invest in Tarps

Heavy snowfall and ice storms can kill even the hardiest shrubs and bushes. The added weight of ice and snow breaks branches and limbs quickly and improper snow removal can do just as much damage. The best way to protect your shrubs and bushes from heavy snowfall and ice storms is to cover them. Invest in several high-quality and durable tarps large enough to cover the plants in question. Remember, you don’t have to wrap them completely—just cover the tops and sides enough to protect the plants from the worst of the storm. Once the storm is over, all you need to do is head outside and shake off the tarps. The bushes will be free of ice and snow and you won’t have to worry about removing snow from the branches safely.

Be Aware of Which Deicing Products You Use and Where You Use Them

Nothing is more hazardous and annoying than an iced over driveway. Using a deicing agent or salt on the pavement will help get rid of those slick spots so you and your family can make it in and out of the house safely. However, that deicing solution can be harmful to your landscaping. Salt and chemical deicers can scald your lawn and ruin the pH of the soil. Though you might not see any damage until spring, once you notice it, it’s too late to repair. 

Instead of being surprised by underperforming garden beds and brown patches on your lawn, just be cautious of where you use the deicer. Take care not to get ice melt on your grass or in your landscaping. Once the ice has melted, sweep away any remaining crystals from the edge of the driveway. If you notice any crystals on the lawn or in your garden bed, flush the area with water thoroughly during the warmest part of the day. 

Wrap Your Trees

In Denver, winter afternoons can easily reach 50 degrees in the sun. This means any ice, snow, and moisture starts to melt and the process can be hazardous for your trees. When ice melts in the afternoon, it freezes again at night. While this is typically a harmless process for much of your landscaping, it can be damaging to your trees. The moisture inside the trunk freezes when the temperatures drop. 

Once frozen, the water expands inside the wood, pushing the fibers apart. Over time and after repeated freeze and thaw cycles, it’s not uncommon for trees to develop cracks in the trunk. The easiest way to prevent cracking and damage is to wrap your trees. Use burlap wrapping or a purpose-made tree wrap available at most hardware stores. The wrap will still allow the trees to breathe and grow, but will insulate the wood from the worst of the cold.

Protect Your Trees From Wildlife

Even in the heart of downtown Denver, it’s not uncommon to see rodents active in the wintertime. Rabbits, mice, and rats are often the most problematic, especially for young trees and shrubs. Believe it or not, these critters see your trees as a wintertime food source. During periods of heavy snowfall or when their normal food supply is running low, these critters tend to make a meal out of the bark and roots of your trees. Over time, this can kill the plants or cause disease and encourage insect infestations which can spread throughout the rest of your yard. The best way to protect your trees is to wrap the trunk in wire mesh or screen material. This keeps pests from being able to reach the bark. If the pests do try to reach the bark, the mesh will keep their teeth from doing any damage. 

Be Cautious When Decorating

Holiday decorations are a wonderful way to add cheer to your home and make a statement for others to enjoy throughout the neighborhood. However, it is possible to accidentally damage your landscaping with your decorations. If you want to string lights, make sure the strands are not too heavy for the trees. Before stringing the lights, make sure the wires are properly insulated and covered to protect the trees from sparks and damage. If you notice that parts of the rubber coating are missing or cracked, throw the lights away and replace them with a new set. Even a single exposed wire can spark, putting both your landscaping and your house at risk for fires.

Consider Building a Snow Fence

Along the Front Range, windy days are more common than still afternoons. All that wind often causes massive drifts of snow that can cover landscaping and garden beds in a matter of hours. To protect your plants from the wind, consider building a snow fence in areas where snow tends to pile up around your house. All you need are a few metal stakes and some plastic snow netting. Click here for detailed instructions on how to build and install a snow fence on your own.  

Getting your yard ready for winter doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Schedule a sprinkler system blowout and landscape consultation with us today and your landscaping will be in great shape no matter what winter throws its way.