According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the Southeast is looking at a cold and dry winter, but with potentially more snowfall than average. Perhaps we won't be looking at a situation like last year's Polar Vortex, but gearing up for colder weather should definitely be on our to do lists. With the first frost date looming around the beginning of November, it's time to get fall annuals planted and mulch replaced.
There are many things you can do to liven up a dormant yard in the fall and winter months, and there are many ways you can stay prepared for sudden cold temperatures.
Choose annuals that make you happy.
You can make just about any color scheme with pansies, mums, cabbages, kales, ornamental grasses, and snapdragons. Whether you plant them in the landscape or in containers around your front porch and patio, make sure you keep them watered and dead-headed for best flowering.
Don't let your lawn dry out.
Did you know that wet soil retains more heat than dry soil? Grasses subject to winter damage will suffer less injury if kept damp because of the heat retention. Winter tends to be moist as a general rule, but if there is no precipitation for 2-3 weeks, adding an inch of water during a warmer day will improve the lawn's survival rate.
Be aware though, of freezing temperatures because you don't want to water during the day when night temperatures will drop below freezing as this can damage the turfgrass.
Mulch. Mulch. Mulch.
Once the leaves all drop and are cleaned up, now is the very best time to refresh your pine bark mulch or pine straw. Consider it a blanket for the tender roots of both established and newly planted plant material. Mulch also helps the soil retain moisture, protecting from frost and freeze damage.
Install hardscape projects.
With leaves off trees and grass dormant, now is a great time for those hardscape projects. Since the temperatures are usually comfortable, you can get these done without too much discomfort. Outdoor kitchens, patios, fire pits. What better time than now to install these? They'll be ready for warmer winter afternoons and spring get-togethers.
Having some lightweight black plastic or very light linens handy for deep freeze nights is always a good idea. Plants that aren't as hardy or new plantings can be protected on these occasions by loosely covering the plants and making sure to weigh down the edges of the cover. Once temperatures rise during the day, the cover should be removed.
Install trees and shrubs.
Fall and early winter is a great time to do installs of trees and shrubs. When planting, make sure to mulch properly and watch the moisture level of new plantings. But now is the perfect time to do a few install projects around your home!
Let us know how we at Buck Jones Nursery can help. We carry all of the products you need to make your fall and winter seasons beautiful.