And finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the importance of winterizing your yard. If you’ve got someone in your home who loves their yard as much as we love ours, chances are you’ve invested a lot of hard-earned money into beautifying your outdoor space. Here are a few tips to protect your investment from the brutal winter months:
- If you have planted new evergreen shrubs or trees, ensure that you wrap them as soon as the harsh winds arrive. A couple layers of wrapped burlap, or even the shrub covers that peg into the ground will work. New trees and shrubs left exposed to the harsh Alberta winter winds will often get wind burn and begin to die. A general rule is to wrap them for their first 3 winters until the root systems are good and set.
- If your yard has sod, begin reducing your watering schedule to once a week, and right before the winter sets in, give your yard a good mow on a low setting, and fertilize. If you have pets, ensure you clean up and water well any dog spots.
- If you’ve run water fountains or exterior lighting, pack up and store anything you don’t want the weight of snow to damage. For above-ground ponds and water features, drain and cover with a tarp to protect from the elements. Remove all extension cords and store. Consider deck furniture and whether you will need it during the winter. These items are able to be wracked with a freeze-thaw pattern that builds up ice on your back deck (you’ll be happier once things start to melt if you don’t have giant chunks of ice on your deck).
- If you have an outdoor shed, Fall is the perfect time to move your yard maintenance gear out of your garage (making room for your cars to easily get in and out while hiding from the winter cold) and into the shed. This includes lawn equipment, shovels and rakes, soils, pots, etc. You may want to dispose of, or securely store, organics such as soil and seed since these make nice warm hibernating spots with a never-ending buffet for critters escaping the cold.
And if you love winter birds in your yard, move your feeders closer to your house so you can easily access them to refill as needed. Look for fatty seeds that are easy to eat for our little feathery friends, since they will want to work less to feast while conserving body heat.