5 Ways To Keep Your Landscape Healthy and Your Lawn Equipment in Good Shape This Winter
You might not think of winter as a great time for lawn and landscaping work. But in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, winter is a great time for several outdoor tasks.
Winter is the perfect time for trimming shrubs, hedges, and trees and cleaning up around the lawn and garden. On warmer days, you can also get planting beds ready for spring, and even plant certain types of plants.
There are also maintenance tasks you can do during the winter that'll help keep your tools in good shape so everything's ready for spring. Keep reading to learn about ten ways that you can keep your landscape healthy – and keep the lawn equipment you're using in good shape – during the winter months.
1) Prep The Lawn
Lawns in Texas typically contain warm-season grasses, which go dormant over the winter. Continue fertilizing these grasses into the early fall, but stop when the weather starts to cool and the grass stops actively growing. If you want, you can overseed your warm-season lawn with cool-season annual ryegrass to keep the lawn green over winter. Keep in mind that if you overseed the lawn you'll have to mow during the winter.
2) Trim Shrubs, Hedges, and Trees
Winter is a great time to prune most evergreen and deciduous trees. There are a few trees – such as the ones that flower in spring – which you shouldn't prune, but for the most part dormant pruning is a good choice. To learn more, check out our Beginner's Guide To Winter Pruning.
3) Tend Your Chainsaw
If you're using your chainsaw during the winter and the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your saw is going to need a little extra maintenance. If your chainsaw has a winter/summer shutter, change it to the winter setting. Also, check your owner's manual to see if you need to use a different bar and chain oil for winter cutting. Temperature fluctuations can affect chain tension, so keep a close eye on that as well.
4) Clean Up Leaves
Leaving fallen leaves on your lawn blocks sunlight from getting to grass. It can also cause problems with mold and/or patches of grass dying, so you'll want to keep the lawn clear of any thick patches of fallen leaves. Winter is also a good time to remove dead leaves from dormant plants in the landscape bed.
5) Prep Planting Beds
After you finish pruning and cleaning up in the landscape bed, you can start prepping for spring. Choose a nice day when the ground isn't frozen to redefine the edges of your flower beds and gardens. You can also start tilling the garden in late winter as long as the soil isn't frozen and it's not too soggy.
6) Keep-Up With Winter Equipment Maintenance
Even if you're using your landscape tools during the winter, it's a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer because you probably won't be using the fuel up as quickly as you would during the warmer months. Your tools might also need some extra cleaning to make sure ice and debris don't build up. Make sure the tools are stored in a dry place between uses.
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7) Winterize Tools You're Not Using
For any tools you won't be using this winter, take the time to winterize them before storage. Drain the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer, change or clean the filters, check the spark plug, clean off any dirt, and spray hinges and moving parts with a lubricant. Store the tools in a dry place. If you cover them don't use plastic because it can trap moisture.
8) Keep Weeding
There are plenty of weeds that can keep growing in cool weather. If you ignore them, they can become quite a nuisance over the winter. Remove any weeds that grow in the lawn or garden by pulling or with a spot application of herbicide on a warm day. You might also want to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn in late winter/early spring.
9) Plant Cool-Weather Flowers and Vegetables
Winter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is actually a really good time for planting. You can plant or transplant dormant trees and shrubs now to minimize the shock to their root systems. You can also plant cool-weather flowers like pansies, violas, flowering kale, and cyclamen for winter color. And starting in late January you can start planting the vegetable garden with onions, snap peas, and leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale.
10) Complete Your Pre-Spring Prep
As you get closer to spring, amend garden soils with well-rotted compost and other organic matter so you're ready for the spring planting season. Now's also a good time to tune-up any equipment you haven't been using over the winter. If you find anything that needs repairs, bring it into our service department and we'll be happy to help.
Working outdoors in the winter gives you the opportunity to use the cooler months of the year to complete important lawn and garden tasks. Following these tips will help you keep your lawn and garden healthy year-round, maintain your lawn tools and equipment through the winter, and get ready for spring.