As winter approaches Texas, is your yard ready? Learn more about what you can do to keep your lawn and garden going through the winter.
We’re not sure if we’ll be seeing a winter as harsh as 2021’s, but it’s good to be prepared. Here are some tips on maintaining your yard and garden through a Texas winter.
Prepare for winter.
How you go about preparing your lawn and garden for winter will depend on the types of grass and other plants you have. Let’s assume that you have both outdoor potted plants and plants that you have put in the ground. Before winter kicks in, your focus should be on your lawn and the plants you cannot move inside, either because they are planted in the ground or the pots are too heavy to move.
Winterize your lawn and outdoor plants.
Texas homeowners have many kinds of lawns, but everyone struggles with weeds and watering. Most kinds of grass go dormant when the temperature consistently remains at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Your grass will still need regular care, though, because while its growth slows down, it does not stop altogether.
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You should mow your lawn down to about two inches. Bag up all of the clippings, leaves, and other refuse that you find. Clearing the lawn of debris will help keep weeds and other pests at bay during the winter months. Otherwise, matted debris over your grass could produce mold.
The same goes for plants in the ground. Keep their areas as free from clutter as possible.
Autumn is pruning season.
Now is also a good time to trim plants that are getting a bit too big. Overgrown plants — especially trees — tend not to do well in icy or snowy weather.
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A pair of pruning shears will do the trick for most small plants. For tree limbs, you will need a chainsaw. For tree limbs that are high off the ground, you should consider calling a professional.
Take care of winter pests and weeds.
Autumn is a good time for weed treatments. If herbicide is your thing, a winterized lawn is primed for it.
Keep a winter maintenance schedule.
You won’t need to mow your lawn as often during the winter months, but you will probably still have to in order to keep the length around two inches. Keep an eye on the grass to see if it’s getting too tall.
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As for watering, plants need water year-round. Many of them just don’t need quite as much water during winter dormancy periods. If you normally water your lawn three times a week, you can probably go down to once a week during cold weather. Be mindful of freezing temperatures, of course. If you have an irrigation system that can detect freezes, make sure that feature is enabled.
Watch the forecast and be ready for cold weather.
Texas has had some historic winter storms recently, but by and large, temperatures in most parts of the state remain reasonably mild for much of the winter. Freezes occur for brief periods of time before temperatures go back into the 40s or higher.
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We usually get at least several days’ warning before a bad freeze. Use this time to bring in any outdoor plants that can come inside. For your outdoor plants that have to stay outside, cover them with sheets before the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Covering your outside plants insulates them from the cold, preventing their own moisture from freezing.
Fabric sheets are best since they allow moisture to escape while keeping at least some of the cold out. Old bedsheets or blankets will work in a pinch, but you can buy covers designed for various sizes of outdoor plants.
Find out more.
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