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Helping Your Denver Landscaping Recover from Winter

May 2, 2018

The winter can be a harsh on your lawn, plants, flowers, and other landscaping. Thankfully, with a little bit of care, everything will bounce back and be beautiful for spring! Pencil in some time on your calendar to dedicate some time to your lawn. Use this overview and go-to tips to make sure your Denver landscaping is ready for spring!

How to Determine if Plants are Dead or Just Damaged

One of your first agenda items in early spring is to assess the condition of your landscaping. During this process, you will examine them to see which plants are dead, and which can be saved during the spring.

To get started, gently bend their stems to see if it actually bends. If it breaks, that part of the plant is dead. You can test other points of the stem to see if it doesn't. Depending where it is healthy, you may be able to save the plant and prune off the dead areas. Cut down the stems and look for green areas. This is a sign there is still life in the plant or flower. Make sure you do not prune until there will not be any more freezes in the season.

In some cases, you will not see any life in your existing plants and flowers. There is still a possibility the roots are still alive. Cut the plant down so only a few inches of the stems are left. Over time, if the plant re-grows, you know you are in the clear. If not, it is best to replace it with something else. If you are ready to put something new in its place if you rather now wait for growth, you can! The spring is one of the top times to plant new flowers, shrubs, etc., in your landscaping.

Helping Plants Damaged by Cold Temperatures

After you inspect the quality of your plans, some may not be dead, but taking extra time to recover from winter.
  • Fertilize: Spring is the optimal time to put fertilizer on plants. Ideally, you will want to do this when you know there will no longer be frosts-so avoid using fertilizer if you know there will be temperatures that will produce frost. You can also help bring your plants back to life by adding compost.
  • Defrosting after late freeze: It's possible to have late freezes in the spring. When this happens, it is crucial you tend to them as soon as possible for their health. Check the ground around the plant to see if the soil is frozen solid. Give your plant some water around its base to help de-freeze the area.
  • Brown grass: When grass is brown and wilting, it is a sign that it has been severely impacted by winter temperature and conditions. Avoid making it worse and stay off the lawn. This includes mowing. Even if your grass has grown, you will want to wait a little later in the season for your first mow to see if the grass comes back. If it doesn't, you will need to work with your local sprinkler service and landscaping company on replacing the dead areas with sod. If you can salvage the dying grass, when you do mow for the first time, make sure you use the highest setting.
  • Remove dead pieces: You may notice some of your plants have dark spots on leaves. When winter burn occurs, it is a positive sign the plant still has good health-but will need to have the brown cut off.

Using a Pre-Emergent

In addition to fertilizing your landscaping as mentioned above, it is also very important to use a pre-emergent, also known as herbicides, on your landscaping. This will help keep weeds from sprouting in your lawn. Weeds can come in due to a variety of reasons such as improper watering or fertilizing, damage, low sunlight, damage from insects, and more.

Once you put the pre-emergent down, it will work proactively to help keep the weeds (i.e. crabgrass or clovers) from sprouting. How? It rids the weeds while still in the soil and keeps them from germinating.

When shopping for the right pre-emergent, make sure you buy the correct one for your yard. This will help keep from furthering any damage. Learn how to choose a pre-emergent herbicide and research before making a decision.

Premier Spring Lawn and Landscaping Tips

As you care for plants and flowers recovering from the winter, there is much more to do to help your landscaping thrive. Some of these tips include:
  • Remove thatch: Thatch is a layer of grass, roots, and stems that are living or dead. While some thatch is normal and healthy, an excess can be detrimental. Thatch that is nearing one inch needs to be removed. Accomplish this by first mowing your grass then raking your lawn using a dethatching rake. If you will be fertilizing your lawn, be sure to do that after dethatching.
  • Aerate your lawn: Lawn aeration perforates the soil, allowing easier access for natural elements to make their way in. You can rent a machine that will do the job, or you can contact your local water service company to handle this.
  • Pruning: Pruning trees and shrubs at the beginning of spring. During this process, you will remove the old and dying parts of the plant and allow them the opportunity for new growth.

Getting Your Sprinkler System Ready

Once you are in the clear of freezing temperatures, it is safe to turn your sprinklers on. From here, do your research to find the right amount of water for your lawn. The best way to accomplish this is to find the amount that dampens the soil but does not overflow. Need some help? Your sprinkler system will ensure accuracy. If you do not have one, consider purchasing one. Your sprinkler service can help you find the perfect system for your lawn.

When it comes to choosing the right sprinkler system for your yard this spring, Water Solutions Sprinkler Service will assist. We can help you with any of your questions on your existing plants that are recovering from the winter. Our team will ensure your yard is thriving for spring. Contact us at 720-435-1495 to discuss how we can help you.