Spring is a season full of blossoming flowers, vibrant hues, and beautiful landscapes filled with the golden glow of the sun. It symbolizes hope, rebirth, and the cycle of life. This is a season of new beginnings. So you should take the hint and let it be a new beginning for your landscape as well. Winter is about to depart, and the arrival of spring means emerging from a long sleeping slumber. However, despite all its aesthetic melancholic undertones, winter can prove to be quite harmful to your landscape. Hence, it is essential to prepare beforehand if you want to witness a lush green landscape and marvel at its extreme beauty.
This blog compiled by MPR Landscapes will specifically focus on the harmful impacts of winter on your landscape and how to redress them. It is high time for you to prepare your landscape for all the missed gatherings with friends and family. Listed in this blog are the top seven preparation musts to follow in shaping your landscape for the arrival of spring.
❇️ TOP SIX LANDSCAPE PROBLEMS YOU MAY FACE DURING WINTER
As you slowly move toward the end of winter, it is time to examine the problems you may face during the cold season. This damage may vary according to the severity of weather in different geographical locations. It can range from slight damage, like broken tree branches, to more severe cases, like cracking up irrigation pipes.
These problems are almost inevitable in the season. However, you do not have to worry! Usually, these issues can be resolved quickly by thoroughly examining and applying remedies accordingly.
Let us have a look at the top six problems you may face during winter:
⭕ The Freezing Frost
In winter, a common problem that arises is frost heaving. The water expands and contracts constantly. This freezing and thawing damage hard landscape features like pavements, concrete blocks, and foundations. Not to mention, the heavy weight of accumulated snow can damage walkways, retaining walls, and trees. In addition, trees and plants often crumble under this massive weight.
A lot of people are habitual in using salt to de-ice snow. When they achieve the goal, the snow melts and disappears, leaving behind all the salt. This excessive salt accumulates in the soil water or drains away in streams. Salt drainage to water bodies poses hazards to humans and aquatic life. When salt accumulates in the water this way, its concentration rises profoundly. This high concentration of salt in water is called salinity. Salinity in the root zone prevents plants from taking up nutrients and water, and they die.
⭕ Profound Damage to Plants and Trees
Winter causes multiple challenges for plantations. It increases the risk of plants rotting by creating certain conditions. As their growth slows and the trees weaken, they become more vulnerable to diseases and pest attacks. Furthermore, heavy snow weight can break branches and make trees more prone to pathogens. All these conditions kill plants or cause them to wilt eventually.
⭕ Disadvantages of Bird Seed
Bird seed is a popular alternative to salt when melting snow. It is poured all over the snow in large quantities. However, it can quickly get into cracks and crevices in the landscape. It is quite a tricky task to remove them from deep foundation cracks. The idea is potentially messy as bird seed in cracks attracts several insects and rodents.
Due to water availability, these seeds can often germinate and become plants. This phenomenon can overcrowd your landscape with undesirable vegetation. Overall, it compromises the health of your landscape to a great extent.
Waterlogging is a concern that many people face after winter. It refers to the condition of the landscape becoming saturated with water. When the seasonal snow melts away, it turns into water. Often, this additional water gets soaked up in the landscape, but water logging is very much possible if you have a faulty irrigation pipe or poor drainage system.
Water logging does not allow oxygen to reach the soil, which results in the rotting of your plants and potentially posing a threat to many soil microorganisms. Furthermore, it damages plant roots and reduces their growth significantly. Additionally, the excessive moisture may cause erosion of your hardscape features such as retaining walls, walkways, fountains, and stones. Apart from erosion, fungal or mold growth due to excessive moisture is quite common in these scenarios.
⭕ Snowplows: A Big NO!
Snowplows are used to remove snow in winter. However, these machines are also dangerous for the landscape and the user. These machines can considerably damage the landscape by breaking irrigation pipelines and sprinkler heads. Snowplow blade roughly scrapes the surface of hardscape features, which cracks them. Improper use of snowplows can physically damage trees and plants in your landscape.
❇️ TOP SEVEN EASY TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR LANDSCAPE FOR SPRING
Here are seven easy tips to prepare your landscape for a new season.
⭕ Examination is the key!
The first and foremost step in your preparation manual should be thoroughly examining everything. Have a keen look at all the signs your landscape is giving away. For instance, an excessively muddy landscape might signify a broken irrigation line or poor drainage. If not treated on time, this can lead to waterlogging. Furthermore, check all your plants and trees to see if they have any broken branches and wounds. Finally, if you have used salt or birdseed methods to de-ice, check if the landscape shows signs of salinity. A saline ground usually appears to be patchy or has white cracks on it. Identifying all the issues is the initial step to fixing your backyard or garden for fun family gatherings or parties.
⭕ Remove Snow Efficiently
The next step is to efficiently remove all the snow in your backyard. Snow removal is essential to prevent multiple problems, such as mold growth, waterlogging, and damage to infrastructure and vegetation. Assembled snow can also cause slip hazards and the breakdown of structures.
Using salt to remove snow negatively impacts your own life and of animals around you, whereas birdseed is challenging to clean up efficiently. Excessive salt can contaminate the water sources in your surrounding areas. Therefore, you should switch to more environmentally friendly birdseed and salt alternatives, like coffee beans or cheese brine. If you only have salt options available, then use them sparingly. Snowplows and shoveling can be haphazard for your life in winter. In addition, they can put quite a strain on your body. Instead of indulging in these activities, you can opt for the help of professional landscapers to do the work. Be it removing snow from your backyard or the arduous task of cleaning up your driveway, you can rely on MPR Landscapes.
⭕ Do a Proper Clean-up
Cleaning up all the mess in your landscape is an essential task. Towards the end of winter, when it gets a bit warm and easy, you need to go outside and adequately clean everything. Remove all the debris, including tree branches and leaves. Assemble all the leaves, which you can later use to make organic matter or mulch. As already mentioned, birdseed can get into cracks, which can be pretty tricky to remove. Use a vacuum to clean up properly. If the seeds have already sprouted into plants, you must pull them out before planting new ones. Make sure to remove any unwanted weeds or shrubbery if you want to start over.
⭕ Fix Your Irrigation System
Freeze and thaw cycle, snowplows, and snow weight can break your irrigation pipes. In addition, the constant expansion and contraction of water in lines can also put cracks in them. Therefore, checking for any possible leaks beforehand is a good idea. The repairs of irrigation pipes can be quite costly depending on your area and what quality you are going for. As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Remove water entirely from pipes before winter to avoid any chance of bursting. To prevent waterlogging, improve your drainage system. Another good option is to choose a grading technique to sculpt your landscape. Use these contours to enhance your drainage pathways. Furthermore, use a soaker hose for a more gentle and even water distribution.
⭕ Make Your Soil Healthier!
One of the most critical steps in landscape preparation is to make your soil healthier for new plants. You can use fallen leaves or bark to make mulch. In this way, you are cleaning the area thoroughly and making organic matter. Mulch retains soil moisture and promotes healthy growth. You can also choose compost as a healthy way to improve soil fertility and overall health. Use food scraps and leaves to make your very own compost. Organic fertilizers are becoming popular with the general awareness of the negative impacts of excessive amounts and pesticides. They are not harmful to humans and animals. Just make sure to apply the right amount at the right time. Too much or too less fertilizer possibly hinders the growth of your plants.
⭕ Prune Some Trees
Pruning trees involves selectively removing or cutting parts of trees or plants. Pruning allows the trees to become healthier and look more aesthetically pleasing. All the dead tree branches and trees are removed this way before spring so that your plants can blossom healthily. In this way, all branches with diseases are cut down before spreading pests to other areas. Trimming heavily concentrated leaves on trees also allows more sunlight to penetrate.
⭕ Be Ready For Some Experimentation
Now that you have made your existing trees healthier and finer, you are ready for some fun experimentation. Research what new vegetation you can plant in your landscape while considering important factors like sunlight, soil type, and rain frequency of your location. An excellent way to ensure the longevity of your selection is to choose more native plants. Native plants are better adapted to the local climate and soil. However, this should not stop you from exploring more exotic varieties.
Planning your backyard or garden can be very exciting; especially with all the vivid colors you may see in spring. Choose vibrant flowers and plants to enhance your garden aesthetics dramatically. Some of the flowers that you can opt for are lilacs, daffodils, tulips, peonies, and forsythia. On the other hand, different trees variety can include sugar maple, birch, redbud, Amur maple, and white spruce. These options offer beautiful hues such as red, lush green, off-white and yellow. You can consult expert landscapers such as us for more accurate information and a better understanding of native features. MPR Landscapes provide all the necessary services to prepare and manage your landscape.
Spring is a month of celebration, and rightfully so. Revel in its beauty by indulging wholly in adorning your landscape. All the points mentioned above are essential for a healthy landscape in spring. Remember that planting new trees and adding cool hardscape features are wholesome activities, but you must also execute proper maintenance throughout the season. Make sure to water plants routinely, use organic matter for growth, and turn to eco-friendly ways to minimize the adverse effects of your choices. Activities like pruning and proper irrigation are imperative for your dream landscape. Implementing all seven strategies helps mitigate the effects of winter on the landscape. In addition, this helps to create fun, sustainable, and functional outdoor spaces for your utmost comfort. Preparing your plantation and landscape is supposed to be a relaxing pursuit. So if the work is too hectic for you, or the winter damage is much more significant than you had anticipated, you can call MPR Landscapes to professionally handle your backyard. The staff at MPR is adequately adept at performing all landscape-related tasks and snow removal. By using efficient machinery and methods, MPR has your desired expertise. So contact us today for further inquiries!