A freeze forecast can throw off your day and even week because it marks the beginning of a flurry of preparations; you're dealing with leaf litter, dead grass, shrub care, and most of all: keeping your plants alive. Avoiding the proper measures can kill a healthy lawn. However, these simple winter lawn care tips will protect your front and back yard before a cold snap arrives.
Below, find out how home design and other preparations can protect your yard from freezing temperatures.
Design your yard for winter weather
The best protection from freezing weather is to plan for it ahead of time, and yard design is one way to do so. Fortunately, there are plenty of design options to keep your backyard as warm, cozy, and protected as possible.
- Invest in heat.
Adding a heat source helps beat the frost of the winter season, but the options and cost vary. Some homeowners install visually appealing fire pits (circular or elongated) and fireplaces. Meanwhile, others opt for more affordable or portable choices like an outdoor heater. Even outdoor heater selections range, so be prepared to decide which type fits your need: propane, natural gas, or electric.
- Keep in the warm air.
After investing in heat, optimize yard design to keep it in. Remember: do not let heat escape. Enclosing the outdoor space or adding a stone surround provides shelter and needed warmth. However, do not overlook other options, such as accent walls or drapes. Both options help shield space from harsh and intrusive winds and keep heat loss to a minimum.
- Landscape during growing season with winter lawn care and cold weather in mind.
Yes, planting locations matter during the winter and late fall—so plant accordingly for a healthy lawn. Specifically, cold air settles in low spots, so save those areas for cold-loving plants and cool season grass, and keep the warmest areas of the yard (i.e., western exposure) for frost tender plants.
Protect your yard against frost
After designing your backyard to be warm and toasty during the winter months, enjoy it as long as possible. Soon the winter warnings will begin, and so will the times to take further and familiar actions. We know the drill - bring in potted plants and cover the pipes, outdoor furniture, and remaining plants.
Also, keep in mind the below guidance on freezing temperatures and foliage:
- Light freeze equals 29°F to 32°F and means tender plants often die.
- Moderate freeze equals 25°F to 28°F and causes damage to many plants.
- Severe freeze means 24°F and colder and causes heavy damage to many plants.
Winter often damage beautiful yards, but some basic winter lawn care tips will help prevent severe freeze damage.
- Water plants before the frost. Damp soil retains and radiates more heat through the night. Use good fertilizer for optimal soil health.
- Cover plants before sundown to trap the stored daylight heat.
- Do not use plastic. Instead, cover plants with blankets, sheets, or cloth and drape the plant down to the ground to trap heat.
The winter months may be here, but it does not have to put a big chill on your home and affect your outdoor investment. Following the above tips can help keep your front and back yard freeze proof until spring. That way, you have a healthier lawn that stays beautiful all year long.