How to Get Your Backyard Ready for Winter

The cold temperatures, relentless winds and heavy snow of winter can wreak havoc on your home's backyard. Getting your backyard ready for winter means more than just removing leaves. Every fall, you should take certain steps to protect your backyard to avoid having to replace plants, buy new lawn furniture and fix broken pipes.

Plants and Flowers

Even though your plants and flowers are dormant, they still need care and attention to get them through the winter. You should give each plant a dose of fertilizer to ensure the roots are getting nutrients during the winter. Some plants with delicate root systems should get a thick layer of mulch. Spread around the base of the plant, bark, pine needles, leaves or pecan shells will insulate the roots, helping ensure they survive the cold.

Taking care of your plants and flowers also can protect your home. Trimming trees and shrubs can prevent ants from invading your home, which prevents unwanted problems. It can also prevent rodents from nesting near and entering your home during the cold months. To help stave off stress from a lack of moisture, you should give all your trees and shrubs a good dose of water.

Outdoor Furniture

If your house or garage allows for it, it's best to bring in your wood, wrought iron, aluminum and plastic outdoor furniture in the winter. It's the ideal way to protect it from freezing rain, snow and cold air. However, if you have to leave your furniture outdoors, it's best to cover it with plastic.

Before covering your wood furniture, treat it with a sealant to prevent damage from any moisture that finds its way underneath the plastic. If your furniture has removable cushions, these should also be brought inside or stored in a weatherproof storage box.

Irrigation System

If your watering system consists of a hose, a few sprinklers and some watering cans, you're in luck. All you need to do is bring these things indoors. If you irrigate with a buried system, you'll need to take a few more steps to winterize it. After you've drained and turned off the system, you will want to make sure any aboveground components are protected. You can use mulch for the smaller pieces located around trees and plants, and you can use an insulating blanket or pipe insulation for larger components.

If you want to enjoy your backyard during the warmer months, you need to put some time and effort into taking care of it during the winter. A few hours spent winterizing can go a long way toward saving you time, money and effort in the long run.

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