8 Crucial Steps to Prepping your Yard for Winter
The change of seasons is a good indicator that it’s time to start prepping your yard for the winter months. Whether you’re a new homeowner or a veteran, these eight simple steps will help protect your property from the freezing temperatures, and ensure you’re a little less stressed this year.
1. Winterize your Sprinkler System
If you haven’t already, it’s time to shut down the sprinkler system and drain the pipes. The cooler temperatures allow for your yard to hold moisture better, so you don’t need to worry about watering it during the fall or winter. Properly winterizing your sprinklers will prevent them from cracking or busting, and save you a lot of time and money. See our recent post here for more information on how to do this.
2. Winterize your HVAC System
If you have an outdoor central air conditioner, you know how expensive it can be to replace should it get damaged. To safeguard your HVAC system, you should prep it for winter. Begin by cleaning out your unit with a hose (ideally, do this before you winterize your irrigation system), then letting it air dry completely. Keep it free from leaves, debris, and any critters that could nest inside mechanical parts. Cut the power supply to the electrical circuit to prevent the air from turning on on a warm winter day. Insulate the pipes with rubber pipe insulation or tubular foam, then cover it with securely with a waterproof cover.
Throughout the cold months, keep it clear of snow, ice, and other debris. Protecting your HVAC system will prevent it from getting rusty and keep it working efficiently during the warmer months.
3. Rake up Leaves
Clear rain gutters and street gutters so debris can drain properly.
Rake leaves so they don’t smother the grass. This is especially important with large leaves such as maple. Or mow the lawn and collect the mix of clippings and shredded leaves to use as mulch for flower and shrub beds or add to your compost pile.
4. Wrap Your Tree Trunks
To help ensure the freezing temperatures don’t frost crack your tree trunks, protect them by wrapping them in paper tree wrap. Start wrapping one inch below the soil, and wrap up to the lowest branches. Secure the wrap with duct tape, and remove in the spring to allow it to continue to grow.
5. Store Bikes and Toys Away
If you have an active family that leaves their bikes, scooters, and other toys outside, it’s best to start storing them away where the weather won’t corrode them and cause them to rust. Other equipment like lawn mowers and 4-wheelers should also be properly stored to prevent weather damage. If you don’t have a storage shed, try covering them securely with a tarp, storing them in your garage, or in another area of your house.
6. Clean up the Yard
To help your yard not only look appealing, but thrive in the spring, make sure to clean it up. Pick up any fallen fruit, remove dead annuals, weed, cut back spent perennials, etc. This is also a good time to aerate and fertilize your lawn. Continue mowing the grass until it stops growing. Cleaning up the yard also helps reduce the change of unwanted pests nesting in the winter debris and causing future problems.
7. Take Measures to Protect Plants
For particularly dry fall seasons, make sure your plants have sufficient water. To prevent animals from eating your trees and shrubbery, install wire wire-mesh screening. Protect your plants by wrapping them in burlap and bracing weak trees that could collapse in the chance of a storm. You may also consider adding mulch to help protect your plants from the freezing temperatures. Spread the mulch around the base of trees and shrubs. Remember to store away any summer bulbs for next year in a cool, dark area.
8. Clean Gardening Tools/Furniture
Before you hang up those garden gloves, get a fresh start on preparing for the next growing season by cleaning and sharpening your garden tools, then storing them away for spring. Disconnect the hose and store it with your gardening equipment. Also, wipe down outdoor patio furniture and cover them to protect them from weathering.
These eight simple steps will keep your yard looking neat, and help you have peace of mind during the winter. Let Northern Title help you have more peace of mind as we assist you in your next purchase. We protect buyers from unexpected complications by performing title examinations on real estate records and issuing title insurance policies for buyers, sellers, and lenders. Contact us today at one of our office locations near you.