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Green leaves covered with frost

Preparing Your Yard For Winter

Lettuce leaves covered with frost

Here Comes The Chill Again

In our region, we are lucky to have a very long growing season paired with a short winter. However, in the winter it is often cold enough to cause damage to the plants or fixtures in your yard. Follow our steps to keep your garden in shape this winter, and ready for spring next year.
Garden Waste in Green Bin
Plantings
  • Clean up leaves and debris around trees and shrubs—they harbor insects and disease.
  • Remove and/or pull weeds and apply a pre-emergent to prevent weeds next spring.
  • Apply gypsum to lawns to improve water penetration.
  • Apply 0/10/10 and Sul Po Mag to azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, and citrus to increase disease resistance and protect next spring’s flowers.
    (Photinias and cherry laurels love this too!)
  • Inspect and replace tree stakes and ties as necessary.
  • Apply Bonide® Tree and Shrub, or soil drench with Spinosad to control borers around ash, birch, pine and other sensitive trees.
  • Lightly cultivate around vegetables after heavy rains to get oxygen to their roots.
  • Weed barrier fabric and mulch will insulate the soil so winter vegetables stay warm and continue to grow.
  • Begin a dormant spray program around Thanksgiving.
  • Inspect deciduous trees and shrubs removing dead or broken branches.
Irrigation Systems
  • Turn off irrigation controller.
  • Turn off water supply valve.
  • Turn on/open sprinkler control valves.
  • Inspect valves and wiring, making repairs as necessary.
  • Protect valves and exposed wiring with pipe wrap or valve covers.
Drainage Systems
  • Clean gutters and down spouts.
  • Clean debris away from down spouts, making sure water is diverted away from house.
  • Flush underground systems with a garden hose.
  • Inspect and clean debris from around and inside of drain inlets.
  • Make sure drain exits are not blocked.
Fountains, Statuary and Garden Pumps
  • Empty fountains of water before hard freeze to avoid cracking.
  • Soft-fired clay pots and some statuary should be moved to a protected area.
  • Empty water from pot saucers.
  • Remove leaves and debris from garden ponds.
  • Trim and place hardy water plants in deepest part of pond.
  • Trim bog and marsh plants such as papyrus, taro and cattails before it frosts. Trim them to about 4" tall and place in deep end of the pond.
  • Discard sensitive floating plants like water hyacinth and water lettuce.
Resources
For more information about protecting your yard from frost, read on:
Cold Sensitive Plants? Use Frost Cloth This Winter
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