The great outdoors! While it’s not for everyone, most people love to be outside. Playgrounds, parks, and backyards have been common meeting spaces for generations. These places provide fresh air, sunshine, and lots of room to roam and explore. Having your own personal outdoor space where you and your family can simply walk out your door and enjoy all that “outside” has to offer. However, when the snow is piling up, and the wind is howling, that outdoor space seems far from a relaxing, enjoyable spot.
Preparing for outdoor space for Winter is not always a fun chore, but it’s important so you can enjoy it when the snow melts away. Omaha landscaping is hit hard during the Winter months with frigid temperatures, snow, and relentless winds. Getting your outdoor space ready for Winter is like preparing yourself for it. We dig out the heavy clothes, gather our winter projects, and tuck in until we see those resilient little flowers popping up. That magical Spring moment can quickly turn to panic if your prized flowers don’t survive or your furniture is blown away. Doing these things to prepare your outdoor space for Winter will ensure you can genuinely enjoy Spring, whether the groundhog predicts an early or late one!
Get your lawn ready for a resting period.
Your lawn works hard from Spring through Fall. It grows, it gets cut, and it grows back. You spend time playing games on it, hanging out with friends, or simply enjoying the view. When Winter comes, your lawn goes into a resting phase. The temperatures are too cold for it to continue growing. Instead, it begins to store its needed nutrients. Once you get in that last cut, fertilizing your lawn will allow it to hold onto those extra elements until Spring. As the temperatures warm, your grass can begin growing stronger and faster.
Tender plants must be protected.
Not all plants can survive when temperatures drop below freezing. It’s important to know which planting zone they are suited for. Most Omaha landscaping plants are located in Zone 5a. If you have a plant that is not hardy to that zone, you will need to lift it from the ground and bring it inside. This is typical of certain flowering bulbs like Dahlias or Gladiolus. If they are not removed from the ground, the freezing temperatures will likely cause them to die. Other plants, like herbaceous perennials or recently planted ones, could benefit from a layer of mulch to protect their root system. The mulch could be from Fall leaves, grass clippings, or a more standard bark mulch.
The furniture would like to hide under the covers.
You aren’t the only one who likes to bury yourself under the covers during Winter. Outdoor furniture is made of metal, wood, or plastic. All of them require some protection from the elements. Ice can build up if they are not taken inside or covered, causing the wood to expand and crack. Below-zero temperatures are brutal on everything. Even a few hours at that temperature could weaken anything made of plastic and cause it to crack. Bring everything into your garden shed or cover it with outdoor furniture covers. A large tarp can be securely fastened around everything if you do not have these.
Shine the light – Shorter days equal more darkness!
As the days get shorter, we are faced with extra hours of darkness. It’s easy to forget about this until you come home after work and everything is dark. When preparing for Winter, take some time to review your outdoor lighting. Are there any pieces not working or bulbs that are burned out? Do you have areas that need better lighting, especially around walkways and entry points? Addressing these now will allow you to have the extra light when you need it. Plus, you won’t have to go outside with the cold wind howling around you to fix it!
Wind everything up and unplug.
You may have used your hose to rinse off any lawn equipment or furniture before putting it away. When you finish that task, wind the hose up and disconnect it from the outside faucet. If you leave it connected, the faucet could freeze and break, causing you a costly repair and a mess to clean up. Take a walk around your Omaha landscaping and see if anything else needs to be unplugged or disconnected before Winter.
Once your outdoor tasks are all completed, you can tuck yourself in for the Winter season. Soon enough, Spring will be here, and your outdoor space will be ready for you to enjoy again. If you would rather spend time enjoying the Fall football season, the Groundscapes crew can prepare your outdoor space for you. Contact us to get started.