The autumn and winter months can be tough on Oklahoma landscaping. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your garden and start from scratch in the spring. There are several steps you can take to protect your annuals and perennials, shrubs, trees and grass, even when it’s cold outside. With minimal effort, you can keep your landscaping in good shape and looking great from the curb during the winter.
Follow these 10 tips to prepare your garden for winter, protect your landscaping, and give it the care it needs to stay in excellent condition.
- Understand your lawn and landscaping. Before you can care for your plants, you need to know their unique care needs. Do a little research online, visit with a local gardener, or consult with a landscaper to learn about your specific greenery and flowers.
- Treat soil. Winter may keep your landscaping dormant, but life is still happening underground, where roots grow and earthworms work the dirt. Sprinkle the top layer of soil in your flower beds with compost or mulch, or mix the compost and mulch into existing soil to feed it so it’s productive next spring. As you do so, be careful not to disturb established plant roots.
- Aerate your lawn. During fall, before you experience a winter freeze, aerate your lawn — using a device that pokes holes into the ground, inviting in water, air, and nutrients. After aeration, add seed to thin patches, and then add fertilizer.
- Plant small trees and shrubs. While large, established trees and shrubs need no special care, newer, smaller plants should be fertilized to help them survive winter. If you want to plant trees or transplant shrubs, do it in early fall, so they have time to root and establish themselves.
- Trim back perennials. As winter approaches, trim back perennial bushes and flowers. Water them less frequently, and add a layer of hay or other protection to insulate the bed. Bulbs don’t always have to be dug up during Tulsa winters, but if you do so, store them in a cool, dry place.
- Lengthen the life of annuals. While annuals eventually die of the cold, you can keep them around longer by covering them with garden fabric during cold snaps. After a killing frost, remove the dead plants and mulch the bed.
- Care for roses. Once fall arrives, stop cutting roses and let the plant form rose hips (seed pods) — a natural preparation for winter. After the first frost, prune the bush and cover its roots with fresh topsoil. After the first hard freeze, add mulch to the mounded topsoil.
- Winterize water systems. Your sprinkler system also needs care before winter arrives. Cover backflow preventers and outside faucets with insulation to prevent frozen pipes. Disconnect and store hoses.
- Keep your yard clean. Winter temperatures may make you less inclined to go outside, but it’s a good idea to invest in fall and winter cleanup for your landscaping anyway. Raking fallen leaves and bagging or mulching them will lessen the time you spend cleaning up in the spring.
- Hire professional help. Caring for your landscaping can require a lot of time and effort, as well as specialized knowledge of tending plants. Many homeowners enjoy the ease of maintenance and beautiful results that come from bringing in pros to do the work.
At ProActive Landscaping, our experienced, friendly, creative team is passionate about giving your lawn and gardens superior care all year round. And we’d love to speak with you about your landscaping needs. Contact us for a free quote — and get started on making your landscaping beautiful and easy to care for.