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Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Winter in South

Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Winter in SouthFall’s cooler weather and shorter days signal that it’s time to prep garden for winter in the South. Take the time now to heed the following winter lawn and garden tips, and you can look forward to a healthy winter landscape.

Winter lawn care in South

Keeping your lawn healthy through the winter months requires that you complete a few key tasks in the fall. Encourage strong root growth by mowing the lawn 2 to 3 inches high and top-dressing with a 1/2-inch layer of compost. Aerate compacted areas, so that the grass doesn’t become waterlogged during winter rains. Also, fertilize fescue lawns at this time.

If your lawn was overrun with pesky weeds like annual bluegrass and chickweed last winter, apply an herbicide designed to kill weed seed and prevent problem plants from sprouting in the first place. Don’t apply a pre-emergent on a lawn you are planning to over-seed for winter.

Tend to your fruit trees

Keep your fruit trees healthy by preventing overwintering diseases. This requires that you rake up and dispose of all fallen fruit and foliage underneath your fruit trees.

Clean up and refresh garden beds

Remove finished summer annuals from your garden beds and amend the soil with compost. Plant the beds with cool-weather annuals such as pansies, as well as spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, hyacinth and tulips.

Rake and compost

When deciduous trees drop their leaves, rake them up and add them to the compost pile. If any of the trees or other vegetation dropping leaves had disease or pest problems in the spring and summer, don’t add them to the compost pile.

Apply lime to your garden beds

If you have acidic soil, now is a good time to make it more alkaline for the spring garden by adding lime. Use a fertilizer spreader to do so and distribute evenly according to package directions.

Adjust watering schedules

Sprinkler Spraying on a LawnYour landscape requires less water during the winter months. Reduce irrigation time by 40 percent to 50 percent for evergreen plants like your lawn and pine trees, and cut back by 70 percent for dormant plants like perennials and deciduous trees. Stop watering altogether during rainy periods.

Shield vegetation from animals

Pests like rabbits, mice and voles will feed on plants during winter months when other food sources are scarce. Prevent them from feeding on the base of trees and shrubs and potentially causing fatal damage by protecting the plants with tree guards and wire mesh netting.

Plant trees and shrubs

Fall in the South is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. It is easier for these plants to become established in the cooler weather, and planting now rather than spring gives the plants a chance to set down strong roots so that they can grow quickly come spring.

 

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