Winter Maintenance guide; Taking care of your landscape in winter
If your landscape flourishes in spring and summer, it’s because you take care of it in winter.
Year-round landscape maintenance helps keep your property at its best no matter the external
condition. While many plants prepare themselves for winter in some ways, there are a number of
things you can do yourself top help prepare your property for winter.
Here are a few winter maintenance tips for your landscape and irrigation system
Prep your irrigation system
If winter is coming, you need to prep your irrigation system. You cannot simply turn the system off for
3 months and hope for the best. This will cause major problems next year, usually in the form of
broken and burst pipes.
While your landscape still needs water during the colder months, you’ll likely have to do this by hand,
especially if you are in an area where temperatures freeze.
Your irrigation system will need to be winterized. Winterizing an irrigation system typically involves
blowing out all the pipes to protect them from damage during freezing temperatures. The backflow
will also need draining, and other monitors and controls will need to be protected for the coming
While it is possible to do this on your own, it is easy to get wrong, which often leads to expensive
repairs when the system comes back online. It is highly recommended to have a professional
winterize your irrigation system.
Protect your plants
Caring for your trees, shrubs, and other plants is a major part of Winter maintenance for landscaping.
In the wild, plants will pull into themselves, preserving nutrients and keeping only the most necessary
parts of the plant alive. This allows the plant to survive colder temperatures and come back to life as
the weather warms back up.
You can help this process in your landscape by taking a few extra steps, such as:
Pruning plants – pruning plants late in the dormant winter months can help identify any sick
plants, dead branches, or other important issues.
Applying mulch to the base of plants – applying a 2-inch layer of mulch around trees, plants,
and shrubs helps to reduce water loss and keep the soil temperature around the roots of these
plants regular. This can lead to a more vital plant come spring.
Protecting from snow and ice – identify any potentially problematic trees and branches that
may collect too much snow and snap. You can tie them off or cut them if absolutely necessary.
Prep your lawn
Freezing temperatures can do major damage to lawns. Taking a few preventative steps now can help
avoid lasting damage when the snow and frost move in. Here are some general lawn care tips for
Cut grass very short – Cut the grass down to about 2 inches to help protect new growth without
providing a home for bugs and other pests.
Remove debris – Raking up leaves, setting mulch boundaries, and removing other debris from
the lawn helps the lawn breathe and prevents dead spots where the debris piles up.
Aerate – Aerate and feed the lawn before the first freeze. This won’t do much as the grass lays
dormant, but once the warmth comes back, the grass will have fertile soil to pull nutrients from.
Protect the house
The outside of the house is also an important part of the landscape and needs just as much care in the
winter. Some house prep tips to get ready for winter include:
Cleaning out the gutters and downspouts – it is best to do this before the rain and snow hits,
and definitely before first frost.
Cover water spigots – make sure all water spigots are closed tightly and covered completely for
Check lighting – Lighting brings a year-round accent to your landscape, even if your plants are
dormant. Check to be sure all housings are sealed, and any wires are safe and unexposed to the
Call the pros
While many of these tips are supportive maintenance for a generally healthy landscape, there may
still be some times to call in the pros. Quench Irrigation in Northern New jersey can help winterize
your irrigation systems, as well as help with other winter tasks such as snow plowing.
Winter landscape and irrigation maintenance is just as important as the more obvious tips, such as
watering plants in the spring. What you do in winter sets your landscape up for success next year!
With that said, when it comes to winterizing an irrigation system, it’s best to call the professionals.