Maintenance Tips for Protecting Your Gardens During the Cold Winter Season
Throughout the winter season, residents of Toronto and the GTA will habitually take the necessary precautions to safeguard themselves from the harsh weather conditions; extra clothing, wind-resistant outerwear, and thermal footwear can all be part of their overall plan to block out the cold and the dampness and to keep their bodies warm and healthy.
The same mindset will often be applied to their care for other living creatures, primarily their pets, or even for the welfare of local wildlife i.e. putting out bread, nuts, and seeds for birds and squirrels that inhabit their neighbourhoods. But what about the plant life in their gardens – do homeowners pay sufficient attention to their plants, trees, and shrubs to ensure that they make it safely through the winter so that these species can resume their growth again in the spring?
Plant life or gardens that are left unprotected or insufficiently sheltered during the winter months could be subjected to severe conditions that can cause damage to their:
- Bark (sunscald)
There are several maintenance steps that homeowners can take to prevent such damage to the plants and trees in their gardens; these actions will include:
- Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around trees/plants (out to the drip line)
- Wrap delicate tree trunks in burlap or white-wash them to avoid sunscald
- Cover perennial beds and flower beds with six to eight inches of wood chips
- Erect screens around outdoor plants (on southwest face) for added protection
- Create a cold barrier for tree trunks using a chicken-wire cage filled with straw
- Apply an anti-drying agent or anti-desiccant to evergreens for moisture retention
- Support horizontal tree branches with stakes to avoid being snapped by snow/ice
- Wrap tall shrubs with twine to prevent branches from splaying due to heavy snow
- Allow any branches that are being bowed by ice to release slowly as the ice melts
- Gently tap excess snow from limbs (lower ones first) to avoid the risk of breakage
Taking these types of precautions is not only important for the health and vitality of their gardens but it will also assure that the time, effort, and money invested by homeowners in garden maintenance throughout the growing seasons will not be wasted or in vain.
For home gardeners or do-it-yourself types who enjoy working in the yard, implementing the above-noted activities can certainly produce feelings of personal accomplishment and satisfaction, not to mention the desired outcomes in terms of safeguarding their gardens and plant life. Conversely, time and circumstances may prevent them from carrying out these activities in a complete and timely fashion, if at all.
In cases like the latter, those homeowners might benefit from contracting a professional garden maintenance provider, like the team from Landcare, to ensure that their gardens are well-cared-for and protected from the potential effects of winter. Landcare’s experts can quickly and efficiently perform any and all necessary maintenance steps while also recommending ways to enhance the aesthetics of these same gardens over winter.
Professional Garden Maintenance Services for Continual Tree and Plant Health
Of course, ensuring the health and vitality of a garden is not limited to any preventative or protective actions taken over the winter season; it is a continual process that requires time and attention throughout the entire year.
For some homeowners, the maintenance of their gardens might be viewed as a pastime, the opportunity to spend time outdoors and to also enjoy the fruits of their labours, so to speak. For others though, garden maintenance may not hold the same level of personal interest, yet they may still want to appreciate the appeal of well-kept gardens and their influence on the overall look of their home and property; in such cases, homeowners can rely on the expert services offered by Landcare.
From spring to fall, Landcare crews can provide their clean-up and maintenance services on a prearranged schedule in order to assist homeowners with their garden-care needs; based on the season, Landcare provides the following services and more:
- Clean debris from all gardens
- Re-edge all garden landscaping
- Gardens weeded and soil turned
- Tree and shrub pruning or trimming
- Perennials deadheaded; annuals pinched
- Plant (or transplant) trees, flowers, shrubs
- Landscape design/re-design and construction
To ensure the continual health and appeal of your gardens throughout the year, call the professionals at Landcare at 647-557-7307 for expert garden maintenance services for more information on our seasonal clean-up and maintenance packages.