Best Winter Landscaping Tips
As the winter months are approaching, you may be thinking you still want curb appeal when the temperatures drop. The spring and summer months bring bright colors and flowers, but I did my research and you can rest assured there are ways to design a creative lawn even during the winter months.
So, what are some ways to landscape your lawn for winter? Add a deadfall garden and transfer the flowers in spring, create a snowdrop meadow and watch the flowers come alive when warmer weather hits, plant a winter hedge or bushy plants for wind barrier and privacy, construct a potager as a unique way to display gardens for small spaces, use paving pads to sprout seeds efficiently or build a raised bed to protect from winter weather conditions.
Many new homeowners select low-maintenance lawn options based on the lack of visibility and fewer visitors their lawn will receive. There are actually a lot of options when deciding the best design for your lawn during the winter season.
1. Add a Dead Fall Garden
If your lawn is looking a little tired, you can spruce it up for winter by turning part of it into a dead fall garden. Simply cut out dead patches with gardening shears and rake them together to form mounds.
Then scatter some bulb plant seeds over the area (tulips, daffodils, and crocus) and spray with water. The bulbs will take around six weeks to germinate, so you’ll have to be patient! Once they start poking through the ground add in some compost or fertilizer and water them in well.
Collect the flowers in spring and replant them in your regular flowerbeds.
2. Create a Snowdrop Meadow
Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to make an appearance in spring and they’re guaranteed to cheer you up on those dark days when all there seems to be out the window is a blanket of white.
They’ll look their best planted in large drifts, so purchase some bulbs from your local garden center and plant them about six inches apart around trees or walls. These early-flowering plants are snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, and they are one of the first harbingers of spring.
While their flowers may last for just a week or so, snowdrops can be in bloom from December to April in mild winter areas.
Some people think that if the ground is too cold for daffodils then it’s too cold for snowdrops as well, but the fact is that the soil temperature has little to do with when snowdrops appear. It’s basically down to day-length.
3. Plant a Winter Hedge or Bushy Plants
Nothing provides privacy like a lovely hedge, but they’re also incredibly useful during winter. When fruit trees are bare you’ll hardly ever notice them, but when summer comes around they’ll provide much-needed shade for your outdoor seating area.
Plant one by digging a hole ten times bigger than the football and backfilling with soil. Water well after planting, then once or twice a year for the first three years to keep them sturdy.
In addition, you can also plant long, bushy plants to create a wind barrier in winter. Longer leaves are better at protecting other flowers in winter because they wrap around them like a shield.
4. Construct a Potager
A potager is the French version of a vegetable garden but makes better use of small spaces. Instead of growing vegetables in rows, plant them in different-sized pots, tins, and vases to make the most efficient use of space. You can also hang your pots from window boxes or attach them to walls.
What Can I Plant in a Potager?
- All types of squash
- Herbs, especially ones that have a strong odor, such as basil and rosemary
- Most root vegetables ( carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, rutabagas, parsnips, tomatoes, peppers, beans (bush types), cucumbers, and any salad greens)
- Lettuce for an early summer harvest
5. Use Paving Slabs To Sprout Seeds
Do you love the idea of having your own personal garden but fear that it’s just too much hard work? Next time you do any renovations on your home, consider using paving slabs as a base for your garden. Simply paint the backs with some waterproof emulsion, sprinkle them with seed compost, and water well so the seeds have something to cling to.
Once they are established, transplant them into your flowerbed or pots. The paving slab can be 60 x 60 x 5 cm and filled with potting soil. In the middle, you can place an old plastic container that already contained the seeds.
Around the container, place some already sown seedlings of lettuce and radishes in small pots. You can put the paving slab on top of a heat mat. These are available in many sizes and are suitable for heating any kind of seedlings whilst protecting them from the cold. After a few days, you will begin to see sprouts.
6. Build a Raised Bed
If your soil is contaminated with heavy metals or the garden has been built over, raised beds are an excellent way of growing vegetables without worrying about contamination.
Unlike traditional plots, they do not require digging up the soil (which you can do in your veggie patch) so they are an excellent choice if you have poor soil or difficult access. If your area is prone to heavy rainfall, use paving slabs instead of wood so the bed does not get washed away.
A raised flower bed can be built to protect flowers from winter weather conditions. Raised beds are built higher than the ground level for better drainage if it rains heavily or snows. They are also great for colder areas where the soil freezes because they warm up faster in the springtime.
This works well in that it can save a lot of landscaping expenses and still give you a nice display in the wintertime. Unfortunately, if you try to cram a ton of flowers into a small area they tend to not look as good.
Planting Instructions for The Winter Months
Annuals have to be planted every year but perennials go dormant in the winter months and emerge from their roots again next spring. With a little creativity, you could turn your yard into a welcoming landscape all year round!
You can transition your landscape to a winter look with annuals native to cold climates, also known as hardy perennials. Hardy annuals or perennials are inexpensive to replace if they die over winter. They are mostly evergreen varieties that provide color all year long.
The variety of perennial flowers includes pansies, violas, violets, lavenders, primroses, and many more. Also, you can underplant evergreens with an annual flower. The evergreen provides shelter and protection to the flower.
Use tall plants to block strong wind gusts. The tall plants provide a wind barrier protecting other flowers that need sheltered conditions. Taller plants serve as an indication of which direction the wind is coming from. Placing shorter plants perpendicular to taller ones will block the wind.
Work groundcovers into your landscape design to replace grass over the winter months. Groundcovers are long, wide leaves that grow low to the ground like ivy. In addition, you can plant some color under evergreens.
Extreme cold weather is not good for plants that do not live in colder areas. If you live where it snows during December through March, you might have to bring your flowers indoors to protect them from the snow and cold conditions.
If you have a greenhouse, these flowers would be safe in their new environment until spring returns.
Tips for Winter Landscape Design
Here is a comprehensive checklist for planning and implementing your winter landscape design:
- Examine all existing plantings closely, noting anything that needs attention.
- Study your plan for the site, noting where all new trees and shrubs will go.
- Check existing plantings to find out if they are true to the original design. If not, make necessary changes immediately.
- Make a list of plants needed for immediate use or replacement.
- Record any changes in the size of plantings from the time of original site development.
- Record any anticipated changes in plantings from this point forward, such as new buildings to be constructed, traffic patterns, and plans for surrounding property.
- Add to your master planting plan as you work and refine it as necessary.
- Note the condition of existing turfgrass; make cuts now if you will need to do so later.
- Take measurements of various parts of the landscape, noting distances between trees and shrubs, placing stone walls, patios, and walks. If possible, take photographs as well. Make notes about what you see.
- Existing trees should be examined one at a time for structural defects or diseases that may need attention.
- Existing plants should be examined for signs of insects or diseases that may require treatment now or later in the season.
- If you plan to plant trees and shrubs immediately, they are best set out now. If not, consider storing them for a short period of time, but watch them carefully for signs of damage.
- Remove any large rocks or other debris.
- Make necessary changes to the original landscape plan for this current season, noting them on your master planting plan.
- Check irrigation systems for repairs or deficiencies that may need attention in the spring.
We hope that, with these tips, you can create a beautiful yard all winter long! If you are in need of landscaping advice, it is always helpful to contact a local professional landscaping company.