The healthiest landscapes get attention all year ’round! Your landscape is a living, growing thing, and just like kids or puppies, it needs frequent and consistent attention, even in the off-season. Check out our suggested landscape maintenance schedule below.
November and December landscape maintenance:
These months’ tasks include cleaning leaves out of your gutters, and applying slow release winterizing fertilizer for strong growth in the spring. Your yard will benefit now from a fall clean up of leaves, weeds and debris. Piles of leaves don’t readily compost and can acidify a garden bed or kill a lawn. Weed heads continue to disseminate their seeds for spring sprouting. Late fall is also a good time to cut back any perennials and grasses – unless you want them for dramatic accent in the winter garden. Prune shrubs, begin winter watering, and mulch beds and trees to conserve available ground water during thaws and prevent soil cracking during freezes.
A word about winter watering…. with Colorado’s warmer winters and sunshine, plants and lawns are not always dormant. During prolonged dry, warm spells root dessication can occur which will effect the health of the entire plant.
- Water by hand or oscillating sprinkler on days when the air and ground temperature are 40 degrees or more with no standing snow.
- Water woody plants around their drip line and mulch, especially for newer plantings.
- Trees should be watered monthly to a depth of 12 inches, and lawns to 6 inches.
- Areas that receive reflective heat from buildings are especially vulnerable to drying.
January and February:
Use the typically sunny and often pleasant days of mid winter to survey your property. Look for potential problems such as standing water on lawns that might encourage fungus, or areas where the lawn may need water. While you’re out there, let your imagination play with ideas for your yard. Sketch a rough plan, or call your landscape designer to get a head start on scheduling spring planting. If you grow a vegetable garden, now is the time to look at seed catalogs and plan your garden. No garden space? Consider creating an edible landscape, combining vegetables with decorative annuals and perennials, or growing vegies in large pots. Continue winter watering and pruning tasks.
March and April:
These can be our snowiest months – or present us with 80 degree days and rain showers! Either way, spring maintenance chores will soon begin in earnest. If it is dry, continue watering, but don’t turn your sprinklers back on until the second week of April. Give your property a good spring clean up, touch up your mulches, test for and apply any necessary soil additions – but wait to fertilize until May to lower the chances for fungal infection. If you applied winterizing fertilizer in the fall, your lawn will green up nicely with a strong root system and steady blade growth. You can also plant early spring crops in vegetable gardens and edible landscapes, such as radishes, peas and greens. You may also want to get the mower ready – your lawn could need mowing by early April!