10/18: Prepping Your Yard For Winter

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Eau Claire (NANCY SKELLEY)- With winter coming up fast, we need to start prepping our yard for the winter. Nancy Skelley shared some tips with us to prepare your yard for the long and cold winter months ahead.

There are a few things to do do to your trees and shrubs before they freeze. Keep them watered until the ground freezes. This is close to Thanksgiving and is particularly important for trees and shrubs that have been planted within the last 2-3 years. Wrap the trunks of young trees from the base up to the first branch with white or paper tree wrap. This prevents rodent damage and frost cracking.

Winterizer fertilizer can also be a great help. This can be applied to lawns up until the first accumulating snowfall. It puts your lawn to bed well fed, helping it green up faster in the spring. You may need to mow again wtih all the rain. For the last mvoing of the season lower your mower height by 1/2 to 1 notch. Do not prune trees or shrubs in fall. This should be done late winter for trees, early spring for shrubs, after flowering for spring flowering shrubs like lilacs?

For plants such as roses, perennials and sensitive shrubs like the blue hydrangeas, wait until the ground is frozen, then cover the crown of the plant with mulch of some sort. I recommend cutting back in early spring rather than fall because the dead foliage actually provides extra winter protection for the plant. It is important to mulch once the ground is frozen and the plant is going dormant. Mulching too early can cause the plant to continue growing under the mulch and can actually cause damage to the plant by freezing it while actively growing.

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