Caring for your lawn and landscaping during the winter months should not be a time-consuming task. Much foliage and grass are dormant in the winter months, so the time spent on lawn maintenance should be significantly reduced during the cold days of winter. Your focus on lawn care in the winter should be about giving you the best chance to have a gorgeous lawn when spring arrives. 

If you want a beautiful, year-round landscape, your winter landscaping should include:

  • Continue to water during the winter months, unless you live in an area that receives abundant moisture. Do not water when the temperatures fall below 40 degrees.
  • Winterize your sprinkler system. Winter means freezing temperatures for many places, and freezing temperatures can damage or destroy sprinkler systems. Wrap exposed piping, and blow out lines using an air compressor before the first freeze of the year. 
  • If you have thin-barked trees, consider placing a light-colored wrap around them during the winter months. The light-colored cover will help protect them from frost damage and sun-scorch.
  • Rake your lawn several times during the winter. Leaves and other foliage will continue to fall during the winter months.  When these foliage remains on the ground and mixes with water from rain or snow, it creates an environment for mold and fungus that can damage your grass.
  • Add mulch around trees, shrubs and plants before winter. Mulch will help protect your plants from frost, and help them retain moisture over the winter months. 
  • Road salt is hazardous to plants. If you have shrubs close to high traffic areas that will experience salted road spray, consider covering them. Use salt sparingly on walkways and driveways that are lined with shrubs. Remember that the salt melt will run down toward the roots of nearby shrubs and trees. 
  • Fertilize your lawn and landscaping well before the first frost. Fertilizing before winter sets in will help your grass and plants have the proper nutrients to survive winter and flourish in the spring. 
  • Cut your lawn shorter than normal before winter arrives. Experts recommend cutting your lawn to 2 to 2.5 inches before the first frost of winter. This helps to protect new growth and keeps your lawn from becoming a habitat for burrowing animals such as mice and moles during the colder months. 
  • Trim and prune during the winter. The slow or dormant growth of the winter months makes it a perfect time to achieve the perfectly symmetrical look you want. Winter damaged branches can lead to infestation and damage healthy growth, so always prune damaged areas as soon as possible. 

Landscaping and lawns that look gorgeous for most of the year can appear barren in the winter. If you want to add a touch of beauty to your winter landscape, consider adding:

  • Use pots for closely trimmed boxwoods or other plantings that will remain green year-round in most climates. Lining your walkways, or drive, with these pots will add a welcome spot of green to your landscape. 
  • Know the zone you live in, and then add winter-blooming flowers throughout your landscape. The burst of color in the winter months is a welcome addition in the gloom of winter. 
  • Use the winter months to plant trees such as maple and evergreen hollies. These trees do well in the winter months and add visual appeal to your property. 
  • Use outdoor lighting in warm tones. Soft winter lighting looks beautiful against snow, and also holds appeal in brightening the gloom of long winter nights.

A little lawn care and maintenance during the winter, can save you work during the spring. Winter landscaping can keep your property looking neat and attractive for all four seasons. If you live in a warmer climate, winter may see you spending more time outdoors enjoying a break from summer heat. If so, winter can be the perfect time to do any repairs to fencing or decking on your home. Potted year-round shrubs, a fire pit, and beautiful lighting can help make entertaining outdoors a relaxing way to enjoy the cooler temps.