How to Prepare The Backyard for Winter

As the leaves fall and the temperature drops, it’s time to prepare your backyard for winter. In this post, I explain how to prepare your lawn and plants for colder weather and choose suitable grass for your yard.

We’ll also give tips on dealing with fallen leaves and caring for your garden tools. Finally, we’ll go over some winterizing necessities for your patio space. For this reason, you must read the rest if you’re ready to put your backyard to bed for the winter!

How to Get Your Yard Set for Winter

To equip your backyard for winter, check the grass kind and sharpen your blades. Before winter, aerate and overseed thin areas. Weed, fertilize, and mulch your garden in the autumn. Before a frost, water plants thoroughly, cover them with burlap, and remove leaves from the yard. Choose winter-hardy plants and trim perennials to reduce snow and ice damage.

Why is it Imperative to Winterize the Backyard?

Preparing the backyard for winter is essential because it helps protect plants and grass from harsh weather conditions.

A backyard clean-up is necessary to remove debris and dead plant material, which can attract pests and disease.

It also helps improve the overall appearance of the yard. The benefits of preparing and cleaning up a backyard for winter include healthier plants, a more attractive yard, and potential savings on gardening costs in the long run.

Getting Lawns Ready for Winter

1. Determine the type of grass in your lawn and adjust the mower deck height accordingly. 

2. Mow regularly before winter, keeping the grass short to prevent damage during heavy snowfall or ice.

3. Make sure your mower blade is sharp and properly mounted, and mow at regular intervals, even in fall and winter, as needed. 

4. Aerate the turf before winter to allow for better absorption of nutrients and water.

5. Overseed any thin or bare patches to promote healthy growth during winter.

6. Control weeds by removing them by hand or spot-treating with herbicide. 

7. Fertilize the lawn in the fall to help strengthen it for winter weather conditions. 

8. Deal with dry patches to prevent them from becoming muddy during winter rain or melting snow. 

Choose a Winter-Hardy Grass Species

Good grass that thrives in winter
<em>Red Fescue Grass is a strong grass that thrives in cold climates<em>

Some helpful tips for choosing winter grass for the lawn include considering your climate and soil conditions, selecting a species appropriate for those conditions, and starting with weed-free seed.

Also, pay attention to timing when sowing the seed, as warm days and cool nights are necessary for the grass to thrive.

Some good winter grasses include Improved Tall Fescue, Chewings Red Fescue, and Prostrate Meadows.

These grasses have sturdy, resilient foliage that can withstand harsh winter conditions. In addition, they are also low maintenance and can thrive in all seasons.

Another option is Velvet Bentgrass, which has exceptional winter stress tolerance, according to research. These grasses are versatile and reliable for any lawn or landscape.

Preparing Plants for the Cold Winter

Backyard gardens benefit from having compost and mulch spread over them before winter.
<em>Compost and mulch help winterize backyard gardens<em>

As the temperature cools and the days become shorter, start thinking about winter plant care. Some plants are hardier and can withstand neglect, while others require additional care.

Winter plant care tips:

  • Spread compost & mulch throughout your garden: Compost provides essential nutrients that help plants withstand winter stresses, while mulch helps protect roots from extreme temperature changes and retain moisture.
  • Winterize tender bulbs: Tender bulbs must be pulled out and stored inside during winter to prevent them from freezing and dying.
  • Remove rotting or bug-infested plants: Before the winter sets in, remove any dead or dying plants from your garden to prevent them from spreading a disease or attracting pests.
  • Wrap tree trunks: This will help protect trees from the cold and prevent animals from damaging the bark.
  • Cover vulnerable plants: It’s critical to protect sensitive plants against frost. A frost blanket or tarp will produce a warmer microclimate than the outside air.
  • Wire-mesh plants: This will deter animals from nibbling on your plants and prevent them from being uprooted by strong winds.
  • Water well before a freeze: Watering your plants well before a freeze will help them withstand the cold better than drought-stressed.
  • Fill rose cones or cylinders with leaves: This will insulate roses and other delicate plants from harsh winds and temperatures.
  • Spring-clean your garden: Remove all dead leaves and debris before winter sets in to prevent disease and pests.
  • Mulch heavily: A thick layer of mulch will insulate roots, maintain soil moisture, and prevent plant uprooting in solid winds.
  • Double-wrap plants with burlap or an anti-desiccant: This will further protect delicate plants from wind damage and dehydration during winter’s dry spells.
  • Plant Cover crops: to protect and nourish the soil during the colder months.
  • Planting perennial plants: that will re-grow year after year and provide visual interest in the winter landscape.

Preparation might help your plants survive the winter. Implement our composting, mulching, watering, wrapping, and spring cleaning suggestions for healthy plants all winter.

Planting in Winter

During the colder months, it’s crucial to consider the potential for heavy snow and freezing temperatures when planting in the yard. Choosing sturdy trees, shrubs, and crops that can withstand these conditions is advisable.

The golden blossoms of the winter shrub Mahonia are a sight to see.
<em>The golden blossoms of the winter shrub mahonia are a sight to see in winter<em>

Using protective coverings and planting seedlings in greenhouses can also help ensure successful growth during the winter months.

Additionally, choosing plants that offer winter interest, such as ornamental grasses or thick-stemmed plants, can add color and beauty to your garden during this season.

Brave and Beautiful: Fabulous Winter Plants

One of the best winter veggies to plant is spring cabbage, which provides delicious leaves for salads and stir-fries and adds a pop of color to your garden with its bright purple or green outer leaves.

Spring onions are another tasty and versatile option, adding flavor to soups and casseroles.

Winter Flower Foliage

Hellebores are white and crimson Christmas roses.
<em>Hellebores are white and crimson Christmas roses<em>

For flowers, Lorapetalum shrubs have beautiful cascading clusters of pink or white blooms that interest any winter landscape.

Hellebores, also known as Christmas roses, are classic winter flowers with delicate white or pink petals and evergreen foliage.

Winterberry holly bushes provide colorful berries and stunning red blooms in the colder months.

Attend to Those Fallen Leaves

During winter, removing any remaining leaves from the lawn is vital to prevent them from suffocating the grass. Additionally, using leaves as mulch in flower beds can provide extra protection for plants during cold weather.

Before the onset of winter, it is also a good idea to clean up dead foliage and cut back perennials to prevent damage from heavy snow or ice. Taking care of fallen leaves and other debris will make your yard better prepared for the harsh winter weather.

Winter Garden Tool Prep and Care

Any gardener understands that maintaining garden tools is fundamental. These are some tips for prepping garden equipment for winter:

  • Store your lawnmower in a dry, protected place. Cover it with a tarp or sheet of plastic to keep it clean and dry.
  • Empty and clean your wheelbarrow. Wash it with soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. Then dry it completely before storing it indoors.
  • Wipe down all of your tools with a clean cloth. Remove any dirt or debris that could rust or damage the garden instrument. Then, apply a light layer of oil to help protect the metal from moisture.
  • Sharpen the blades on your shovels, spades, and hoes. This will help them work more efficiently and last longer.
  • Store all of your tools in a dry, protected place. A shed or garage is ideal, but any sheltered area will do. Hang the tools up on hooks or racks to keep them off the ground and organized.

By taking a few simple steps to prepare and take care of your garden tools for winter, you can help them last longer and stay in good condition.

Patio Space Winterizing Necessities

If you have a patio, deck, or other outdoor space, it’s essential to winterize it before the cold weather sets in. Here are a few tips:

Clean the area thoroughly. Remove all furniture, cushions, rugs, and decorations. Sweep the patio floor and clean it thoroughly to keep it from turning into a moss jungle.

Check for any damage: repair cracks, gaps, or other problems in the surface of your patio or deck.

Apply a sealant: This will help protect the surface from weather damage and make it easier to clean next spring.

Cover the area: Use a tarp or plastic sheeting to cover your patio or deck. This will keep it clean and dry throughout the winter.

Umbrella: If you have an outside umbrella, take it down and store it appropriately in a secure, dry location.

Patio enclosure options 

A clear-enclosed patio is the ideal winter retreat.
<em>A clear enclosed patio is the ideal winter retreat<em>

One option for enclosing your patio during the winter is clear vinyl siding. This allows you to enjoy the view of your backyard while keeping warm with extra protection from the cold.

Another option is insulated curtains, which protect against the cold and provide privacy when needed. Shade screens can block out harsh sunlight and help keep the area cool in the summer months.

Pre-made patio enclosures offer a quick and easy solution, with all-in-one panels that can be installed with minimal effort.

Measuring the area ahead to ensure you have enough materials is one of the most valuable ideas for enclosing your patio. Consider if you want permanent or temporary enclosure alternatives and the degree of insulation you want depending on your local environment.

Enclosing your patio can be an intelligent investment all year round, allowing for greater space versatility.

In addition to comfortably using the area during colder months, it can provide shade and protection from rain or wind in other seasons. In addition, it may boost your home’s retail value considerably.

Final Thoughts

Winterizing your backyard and garden can be a manageable task. By following the tips we’ve laid out for you, you can easily ensure that your outdoor spaces are beautiful and well-cared for all year round.

Patio furniture, plants, and lawns all need a little extra attention as the temperature drops, but with some planning, you can rest assured that your yard will be ready to enjoy come springtime.

So get started today and let us know how it goes – we’d love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “How to Prepare The Backyard for Winter”

  1. Thank you for these wonderful tips. I want to start trying compost and mulch. I have always heard it helps winterize backyard gardens, but I have not had first-hand experience with them. Winters here where I live are colder than anywhere else. I am so close to the North Pole that I see raindeers flying once in a while.


Leave a Comment