What Can Landscapers and Gardeners Do in Winter?
The cold West Michigan winters are, understandably, a time when most outdoor work on the lawn, flowerbeds, and landscape slows down. You certainly won’t be doing much mowing, watering, or planting with 10 inches of snow blanketing your property.
But that doesn’t mean that all landscaping or yard work goes away in winter. If you want to make sure your landscape is as healthy as possible and comes roaring back to vibrant life in spring, there are lots of things you can do even during the coldest months of the year.
Here’s a quick look at some of the major landscaping tasks that you should put on your list for winter—whether you’re a DIYer or need a little assist from Bosch’s.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Pruning is an often overlooked but hugely important task that can not only improve the overall look of your trees and shrubs, but help them stay healthy and strong.
The dormant season (which, in Michigan, tends to run from late fall to early spring) is actually the best time to trim and prune trees, for a variety of reasons:
- With the leaves gone, it’s much easier to see the overall structure of the tree and identify dead or weak branches that need to be removed.
- Pruning puts less stress on the trees, and the cuts heal faster.
- There’s less risk of disease or infestation.
It’s important, however, that you don’t over-prune, as this can jeopardize the health of the tree. If you need someone to handle pruning on your behalf, give us a call.
Stay on Top of Snow and Ice Removal
Your “landscape” not only includes your yard, garden, and flowerbeds, but also hardscape elements like driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. Keeping them snow- and ice-free obviously helps keep you and others safe as you move about the property. But also, you’ll want to use de-icing salts that are less toxic for plants and animals and less corrosive for concrete and metal.
If you can afford them, the best, safest, and most environmentally friendly de-icing salt option are acetates—specifically, calcium magnesium acetate or potassium acetate. If you can’t find either, or they’re a little out of your price range, go for magnesium chloride. It’s only a little bit pricier than standard sodium chloride rock salt, but much safer for the lawn.
If you have any large commercial or industrial spaces that need to be plowed regularly, talk to Bosch’s. We run commercial snow removal services during the winter months, and may be able to help. Spaces are limited, however—interest is always strong!
Inventory, Clean, and Organize
Before it gets bitterly cold outside—or if you get an unseasonably comfortable day in the middle of the winter—it’s a great idea to clean out the garage or the shed and make sure you have what you need for the spring season.
Even just de-cluttering your space so that everything is easy to access and ready to go by spring will make it so much easier in the long run, and help you stay motivated.
- Clean any dirt or grime off your tools and perform any necessary maintenance (sharpen blades, oil engines, etc.)
- Drain the gasoline from your mower (if you haven’t already).
- If any essential tools are either missing or damaged beyond repair, replace them.
- Make sure there’s an organized place for everything. Consider buying or making hooks, racks, pegboards, shelves, etc. so that every item is easy to locate and access.
Buy or Pre-Order Seeds and Bulbs
While you’re cleaning out the garage and organizing tools, also take a look at any leftover seed packets you still have lying around and put them in an organized location. Then, think about what kinds of plants you want for your garden next spring, and what new seeds or bulbs (and how many of them) you’ll need to buy to complete the look!
Buying seeds and pre-ordering bulbs from a catalog during the winter is not only fun and motivating, but ensures you have everything you need to get started when the spring comes.
That said, before you go out and buy a bunch of new seeds and bulbs, be realistic about the growing conditions in your landscape. That includes not only your plant hardiness zone (West Michigan tends to fall into the 5-6 zone), but the amount of sunlight your garden gets, water drainage, etc. You want to make sure your new plants have the best opportunity to thrive!
Plan for Spring
Picking out plants or seeds is one thing, but do you have any bigger projects in mind as well?
With the new focus this year on moving social gatherings outdoors, maybe it’s time to upgrade the back yard with a new patio or permanent fire pit. Or perhaps you rediscovered a passion for gardening this year, and are looking to install new flower beds, plant new trees or shrubs, or make other significant changes to your landscape.
Bosch’s can help you with all of it. And the sooner you call, the better. Come to us with your ideas and your dreams, and we’ll help you turn them into detailed plans that both bring your vision to life and respect the delicate balance of nature, sunlight, water, and other important factors so that every part of your landscape is optimized to thrive.
If we have a plan in place in winter, then all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for Bosch’s crews to get started in early spring. It’s by far the least stressful way to do landscaping—and because the work gets done earlier, you get more time to enjoy your new space.
Our spring calendar is already starting to fill up, so don’t wait any longer to request your free estimate! Reach out to the team at Bosch’s by dialing (616) 399-6861, or connecting with us online today.