December is no time to stop thinking about landscaping!

landscaping winter

Don’t go dormant like so many daffodil bulbs. You can snooze by the fire later. Right now, you have a few landscaping and end-of-season chores to do before winter hits full force.

1. Buy some ice melt.

There’s all different kinds — get the wrong one, and you’re hastening the demise of your sidewalk and driveway. See what Consumer Reports says about which type to use on which material.

If you don’t want to take a chance, since rock salt can also burn out your landscaping, get some sand or kitty litter instead and spread over icy walkways to provide traction. Then, come spring, just sweep it away.

2. Store your flower pots correctly.

If you find you’re always having to buy new ones because your old ones have cracked and chipped again, you may not be providing them with proper care.

Clay, terra cotta, ceramic, plastic, wood and stone containers all have different care and cleaning instructions. Follow them carefully, and you may never have to buy new pots again!

3. Protect fragile plants from cold.

This goes for most part of your landscaping that’s newly planted that doesn’t yet have deep, strong roots. A good watering before the ground freezes and a covering of mulch should be enough, but some especially tender plants do better covered up with a tarp or blanket.

Also bring any container plants you have inside for the winter.

4. Empty your lawn mower of gas.

Leaving gas in a lawn mower all winter is a bad idea. If you forget and try to start it in the spring with the old gas in it, you’ll likely be looking at a repair bill for the damage it does.

It’s a good idea to go over your landscaping one last time at the end of winter with the blade on its highest setting. You don’t want to cut the grass, but it’s a good to mulch any stray leaves that have blown back onto your lawn.

If you get through your whole lawn and there’s still a little gas left in the mower, just let it run until it’s empty. You can try to drain it, but if you don’t know how, it can be a messy challenge. Just don’t tip it over to drain it — this creates a whole new set of problems, including possibly contaminating your landscaping and soil.

5. Knock snow off of bushes and young trees.

Heavy snow can cause bushes to become seriously misshapen and can even kill them. The same goes for small trees. If your area gets a wet, heavy snow, use a broom to knock the load off as many branches as you can reach.

If you’re unsure what parts of your landscaping need attention and care so they’re prepared to withstand the dead of winter, call Earthworks Landscaping. We’re the experts in year-round care of all types of plants, bushes and trees.