Extremely cold and snow laden winters are a foreign concept here in Southern California. True, we may have a few nights of frost here and there, but higher temperatures mid-January are more likely to be in the 70s and 80s.
New growth on many varieties may be dormant but don’t let the winter months be a time where you stop caring for your landscaping.
Having a winter landscaping plan that is customized to your particular property can increase the survival rate of your plants, trees and shrubs. When you consider the replacement cost of landscaping, you will see the value of a proactive approach to winterizing your landscape.
Winters here in California are the perfect time to really allow for landscaping to flourish. Since your yard isn’t dying from the heat and will occasionally see a storm to provide some more affordable forms of water, this is truly the time to proactively care for your landscaping.
To promote a healthy garden, winter is a great time to do a big cleanup. Remove the old leaves and debris from all of your beds. Compost the material if possible, to build quality soil amendments for later use. If you have a compost pile, check it to see whether it has material ready to mulch your garden. We offer this as part of our routine maintenance, and often, we suggest this when we start a new maintenance project with you!
Pruning is another winter project. Traditionally winter is the time to prune roses, fruit trees, such as apple, apricots, and cherries. Be sure to cut off any dead wood, crossing branches and thin, old, or spindly wood so your trees can produce as much fruit as possible.
Winter is also the season we get to train and prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Choose a dry cold day, sharpen and clean your tools, mix up a spray bottle of disinfectant (bleach water or white vinegar) and be safe.
Or you can give us a call! We will take care of the trimming, pruning, and haul away the excess, leaving your landscaping beautiful and ready to flourish in the coming spring.
Use Natural Mulch:
After cleanup and pruning you can apply a layer of mulch around your plants, leaving a clearance of several inches between mulch and the plant stems or trunks of the trees.
Mulch is invaluable for holding moisture in the ground, saving cost on your water bill. Ideally, you should apply mulch to your garden twice a year; most of our clients re-apply mulch every 12-18 months. Mulch not only retains the soil moisture, as well as soil temperature, but it also contributes to soil replenishment and natural soil health.
For these reasons, it’s essential to apply mulch in the colder months. Mulch also serves as a weed suppressant. So as you see, incorporating mulch into your landscaping routine will provide many rewards.
With the coming colder, wet weather, start your irrigation schedule at a time where fungal growth won’t happen. This usually means doing it in the early morning, so that fungus that prefer dark and wet environments won’t have the ability grow. Also remember to check your irrigation schedule and be sure to not water during a storm. We’d be happy to help! Of course this is a service we provide as part of your landscape maintenance plan in San Diego.
Fall and winter are also very important seasons to fertilize. The nutrients in fertilizer will keep your grass healthy all year long and late fall or early winter are the best times to fertilize cool season grasses. Since the majority of lawns in North America are made from these grasses, like Bermuda and bluegrass, it is a good possibility your yard has a typical cool season blend.
As always, if you’re not as comfortable with fertilizing, we would be happy to provide you this service as part of our routine maintenance plan. Give us a call today!