Winterizing Your Yard: 5 Things You Should Remember
You hear plenty about winterizing your home: from adding insulation and draft shields, to upgrading your furnace and water heater. But your yard likely requires as many adjustments to prepare for winter, and the spring thaw that follows.
Pipes exist outside the home, too. Sprinkler systems, your lawn, and outdoor furniture all need maintenance. Here are five simple things to remember as you winterize inside and out around your house:
Fertilize in the Fall
Many common types of grass flourish best in the fall, which means it’s a great time to fertilize your lawn before the winter sets in. Some may prefer to fertilize in the spring as well, but a one-time fall fertilize usually does the trick.
The best fertilizer late in the year goes by the name “winterizer fertilizer” for a reason. Plants shorten growth periods and reserve food to respond to shorter days and colder temperatures.
Although the aboveground portion of plants and turf change, the roots remain active and will seep up fertilizer to store for the winter and spring rejuvenation process.
Gutter Cleanliness is Key
Although your gutters might technically fall into “home winterization,” they remain on the home’s exterior, and thereby affect your yard.
A clogged gutter or rain drainage pipe can create problems for your home and yard, such as roof leakage, water pooling, and lawn damage. Dangerous icicles also form as the winter progresses, so clean your gutters in the fall to prevent these problems.
The Frost Comes Soon
Although you might think your home will withstand frosty temperatures, many homeowners forget to winterize their sprinkler system too late in the year. The first frost might come as early as September, so be aware of the weather patterns and what to expect.
Turn of your sprinkler system before temperatures stop to avoid any pipe bursts or water accidents. Even though you might not seen any damage now, you’ll definitely know something went wrong when you turn the sprinklers on in the spring.
Drain and turn of your hose and its corresponding tap, and keep the hose indoors for the winter to ensure future durability.
Landscaping Tools Need Maintenance
Even if your lawn mower works at the end of the fall, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will function well in the spring. Plan on a regular tune-up before you put it away for the winter. It’s also a good idea to add gasoline stabilizer to the fuel tank, or empty it altogether.
Metallic hand tools benefit from a dip in sand and motor oil to lubricate and clean them. After all, no one wants to start spring-cleaning with old, dirty, or rusted tools.
Don’t Forget the Outdoor Furniture
Lightweight or plastic lawn furniture from places like Design Furnishings stores well indoors. Heavier and higher quality sets made of metal do just fine outdoors, but with the covers you bought them with. If you no longer have the cover, a large plastic bag works as well.
Remove all fabric cushions and wash them before you put them in storage. This gets them all ready to pull out and use in the spring. It also prevents any stains from deepening to become permanent.