The air is getting colder and the nights are getting longer. Winter is fast approaching.

In mid-to-late fall, gardeners in colder climates start thinking about winter; not necessarily because they’re looking forward to it, but because they know that without proper precautions, cold temperatures, drying winds and snow cover can all cause problems in their landscape. Plants can get windburn, tree branches can be broken from snow load, and sprinkler systems can be destroyed from a prolonged freeze. Winterization doesn’t have to be difficult though — most of the tasks fit into a regular course of maintenance and contribute to a healthy landscape year-round.

Gardeners in warmer climates aren’t completely off the hook. Although snow load may not be a concern, random freezes and cold winds can still take a toll on plants and trees. Local garden centers might not be well stocked with the proper supplies (like shrub covers), so planning ahead and having a few things on hand can come in handy.

GENERAL PREPARATION:

SHRUBS, PERENNIALS AND TREES:

Landscaping with native and other well-adapted plants can help minimize the care needed to keep your landscape healthy. However, plants don’t develop their full cold hardiness until they’re mature, and newer plants may need a couple years to reach their full cold-hardy potential. In the meantime, provide these younger plants with some extra protection.

CONTAINER PLANTS:

LAWNS:

SPRINKLER SYSTEMS:

OUTDOOR LIVING FEATURES:

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