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Old Man Winter Can Be Hard on Your Lawn and Landscape

Evergreen tree in winter photoOld Man Winter benefits plants that need to be chilled to perform their best, but he’s hard on your lawn, shrubs, trees and many common plants. With the right winter care, Custom Lawn can help your Overland Park landscape survive and thrive in the days till spring. Here are some winter lawn and landscape tips to help you have the best looking yard come spring.

Dormant Plants Still Need Water

Winter-hardy plants in our area generally go dormant for the winter months. Even though the plants aren’t growing, they require water. Regular, but not excessive, watering keeps them alive for their spring renewal. Watering your lawn remains important for the same reason.

It’s particularly crucial to water trees and shrubs during winter drought conditions to keep them healthy. Long-term drought conditions compromise a plant and can cause it to die. It’s best to water when soil temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid freezing the plants’ roots which can damage them.

Potted Plants Need More Protection

Plants in pots and containers are more prone to winter damage. The relatively small amount of soil around the roots offers less insulation. Keeping potted plants in protected areas during the winter, such as in a greenhouse, enclosed porch or next to a windbreak helps to protect them from temperature extremes. Covering vulnerable plants can also help.

Winter Wind Ravages Plants

In addition to the problems of extreme temperatures and winter droughts, Old Man Winter blows strong winds that whip through a landscape. Wind causes cold temperatures to have a more extreme effect in what’s known as the ‘wind chill factor’ and the force of the gusts can break branches and even destroy some plants.

Wind also increases the risk of dehydration. Houses and fences provide a wind break for some plants, but if you are worried about particular plants, you can cover them with burlap for added protection. Just make sure to remove it early in the spring so you don’t inhibit its growth or have problems with mold or mildew.

Saturated Ground Leads to Frozen Roots

When the ground becomes saturated and then freezes, the plant roots freeze, too. This can kill landscape plants. One of the best defenses against winter plant deaths is adequate draining. Mix mulch and sand into the soil so that it drains faster. For best results, water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit with no snow cover.

Protecting your plants from the hazards of Old Man Winter requires some know-how, and we’re happy to help our neighbors in Overland Park and surrounding areas. For more information about keeping your lawn and landscape healthy over the winter, call Custom Lawn and Landscape at 913-782-8315.


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