How to Keep Winter’s Harshness from Claiming Your Landscape
While Florida does not have severe winter weather, winter can come with its fair share of harsh factors – and those chilly temps do more than make you want to escape the cold. They also have the potential to wreak havoc on your landscape unless you take the proper precautions to get your yard ready for the days when colder-than-normal temperatures leave things a little bit frosty.
‘Tis the Season
It only takes one bad night to do significant damage to your beautiful property, so here are a few steps that could help you avoid the winter blues:
• Prune your trees and bushes to reduce the risk of breakage under frost that could weigh branches down. It’s also a great time to scale back the size of your trees’ branches and the mass of your bushes or shrubs. They’ll have the time to grow back before spring, but be sure not to get to trim happy. Consider hiring an expert who can handle the job and keep one more thing from adding to your already hectic holiday-time list.
• If you don’t have mulch in your garden beds, lay about three to four inches of course mulch or pine straw so that your plants’ root systems will be well insulated against the cooler night air. Mulch also helps absorb sunlight during the day to keep things warm and toasty and aids the retention of moisture in the soil.
• If you have newly planted trees, shrubs or plants, the lack of Florida winter rain could definitely be hazardous to them. Their roots are still growing even when the plant above the ground is in its winter dormancy, so water these newbies throughout the season; but be judicious rather than overly zealous.
• Cover your less hardy plants against the bite of winter frost with fabrics rather than plastics, which have the tendency to cause the formation of condensation during freezes and leads to burned leaves when the sunlight hits.
• If electrified Christmas décor is on your To Do list, take heed in running lengths of extension cords through your landscaping and across your property. If your property is under contract with a landscape management company, give them the heads-up that you’ve got some wires to watch out for so that your winter wonderland doesn’t end up going bust.
Even in winter, your Florida landscape should still be a masterpiece, so make sure that you’ve got safeguards in place to be ready for the season.