During the winter months, even the hardiest of landscapes need some TLC to survive the Colorado climate. There’s more work to do this time of year than you might think. Working with an experienced horticulturist is key to avoiding potential issues that might turn into large problems once the snow melts and plants spring to life. Anyone looking to preserve and promote a healthy, thriving landscape all year round should understand cold weather care necessities.
Here are our top tips to ensure your landscape survives the winter.
Winter mulch is beneficial to your landscape because it insulates heat in the soil. Although the temperatures outside may drop well below freezing, properly mulched areas can stay warm enough to keep tree roots and perennial rootstocks more protected than bare soil alone. Maintaining a two-inch layer of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs, periodically as needed, will ensure roots are kept in the best position for spring growth.
Sustainable Landscaping Tip: Mulch is sustainable because it breaks down over time and improves soil structure.
You don’t have to water as frequently when the temperatures drop, but you aren’t completely off the hook. One of the most common mistakes in winter landscape care is underwatering. We advise watering once or twice a month when there is no precipitation to keep your trees and shrubs hydrated.
Watering on top of snow will result in a frozen layer of ice on top of the snow that can suffocate plant roots, so make sure the snow around the base of the tree or shrub has melted before watering. A good rule-of-thumb is to never water trees or shrubs when the temperature is at or below 40 degrees F.
Because trees and shrubs enter dormancy in the colder months, watering should be less frequent. For newly planted small shrubs, 5 gallons of water per month during the winter is recommended, whereas trees and shrubs over 6 ft. tall should receive 18 gallons of water per month.
While winter landscape care is moderate compared to other seasons, it’s still important to put in smart, attentive work now to ensure your property is ready for March blooms.