As we approach the later fall and eventually winter months, all of the leaves have turned brown and fallen. The vibrant autumn colors are fading away into the dead brown color everywhere. Even though the leaves have fallen, and many spring and summer plants have died, your landscape can still look great. Taking care of your landscape in cold months makes it look better and primes it for a spring comeback. As Atlanta’s outdoor landscaping experts, Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces want your yard to look great all year. Here are some fall and winter landscaping tips on how to keep your yard looking great even in cold months.
Fall and Winter Landscaping Tips
Clean Up the Yard
Keep your lawn clean of leaves and debris that has fallen. This will allow your lawn to stay as healthy as possible during cold months. It is recommended that you clean up leaves as they fall. Putting it off until a large amount has gathered will only make this more difficult. Keeping your yard free of leaves will allow plants to properly absorb water and nutrients. Leaves can also clog landscape drainage and cause landscape flooding issues. This is also a great time to trim back any trees or shrubbery that need to be pruned. Remove any dead plants as well.
Prune Shrubs and Perennials in Winter
Plan to prune shrubs and perennials in the winter. Many of these plants in your landscape bloom on new growth. Pruning in the winter will allow the plants to grow back even stronger. One key to successfully pruning shrubs and perennials is to have the proper tools. Ensure you have pair of shears or hand pruners that are sharp. For branches, have a saw that is in good condition. In terms of timing, prune your landscape a few weeks before the first freeze of the season. The most common items needing pruning in late winter are trees and shrubs. These are deciduous plants that lose their leaves come fall. Additionally, they do not flower in early spring, so they have plenty of time to grow back. Prune any dead or damaged branches during this time as well. During the winter, Atlanta can face the occasional ice storm. Ice storms will damage any vulnerable trees with weakened branches. Properly pruning your landscape also reduces the risk of ice damage.
By spreading mulch around vulnerable plants, you can help protect their root structure from frost damage. Mulch allows water to drain into the soil better and keeps the base root structure from freezing too much. Fresh mulch also looks great and can provide some much-needed color in your yard. Some places to spread mulch are flower beds or around the bases of trees and shrubs.
Choose Plants for Every Season
Look for plants that can last throughout the season. Selecting plants that have a high tolerance to cold weather will allow your landscape to have lively plants all year. Plants that look great all year long are muhly grass, burning bush, camellias, fatsia, daphne, Lenton rose, nandina, red twig dogwood, coral bark maple, itea, edgeworthia, paper bush, and fothergilla heuchera. Also, look for annual flowers that do well in a cool climate. Planting annual flowers for cold weather will bring some nice color to your yard.
Add Borders to Your Landscape
By adding borders, such as natural stone or brick barriers, will add a clean look to your yard. Borders also differentiate different parts of your yard which adds a high-end look to it. Borders around flower beds can be visible from the street and will make them stand out more. They also create clean and crisp lines throughout your yard.
Minimize Foot Traffic During the Winter
Once your yard has been cleaned up and prepped for winter, try to minimize how much you walk on the lawn. Walking on dead grass can displace the roots for next year. Also, frequently walking on the lawn can cause soil compaction. Overly compact soil makes it harder for grass to grow.
Incorporate Outdoor Structures or Fire Features
Landscape plants may look bare or dead during the winter months. By incorporating an outdoor structure, such as a gazebo, or a fire feature, you draw attention away from the bareness of winter. Outdoor structures can make your yard pop and look lively throughout the entire year. Landscape elements, such as a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, also create outdoor living spaces to enjoy all winter.
Prepare Your Landscape Lighting
The sun goes down much earlier this time of year. That is why is it so important to check your outdoor lighting! Look for bulbs that have burnt out or are not functioning. With your home spending more hours of the day in the dark, it is crucial that your landscape lighting shows off the beauty of your landscape. Learn more about the importance of outdoor lighting.
Think Ahead to Spring!
Start planning ahead and determining what you want to do. By preparing now, you increase the likelihood that your yard looks great next season. Aerate your lawn and make sure it has proper drainage to ensure the soil is in great shape for warmer weather. Keeping your lawn clear of leaves and debris will also allow your lawn to thrive and absorb water better. Also, if you are adding new plants to your landscape, make sure you check out our fall planting tips!
Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great year-round! Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces create landscapes and living spaces for enjoyment all year. By following these tips, you can keep your Atlanta home prepared for four seasons. By working with our team, you gain access to the best landscape professionals in Atlanta. Contact our fall and winter landscaping experts today!