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Keeping Your Landscape in the Best Shape This Winter is Beneficial
Thursday, February 12, 2015

You read that right. We may be midway through winter and you want to do nothing but curl up by the fireplace and read a good book, but maintaining your yard and landscape even during the cold months can be beneficial to your home’s value. So get outside and try these tips to not only keep your landscape in tiptop shape, but also improve your home’s overall value.

•     Mowing the lawn
Sure, sure, with plants going dormant, this may seem like it is an unnecessary chore to do in February. But besides Ohio having some strange weather patterns, keeping your lawn trimmed helps in many ways. Ignoring your lawn in the winter may attract the attention of some uninvited guests. A tall lawn can become the home of burrowing animals, as they love tall grass when looking for a warm place to sleep. Regularly mowing your lawn (when the weather allows for it) and keeping it roughly around 2 and 1/2 inches tall will have your landscape looking pristine and will deter any unwanted pests.

•     Maintain your driveway
While there hasn’t been a lot of snow in parts of Ohio yet this winter, the bitter cold did rush in in full force. And that cold could be doing some damage to your driveway. No, simply parking your car on your driveway won’t harm it. But, using salt and deicing agents that are meant for the street and not a driveway can harm a driveway. While these products can melt ice quickly, the chemicals they contain can damage asphalt. If we get hit with a snowstorm in the latter part of this winter, try placing some cat litter on your driveway instead. This can help melt ice as well. When snow does come along, make sure you’re prepared with the proper shovels. A metal shovel with a pointed tip can scratch and damage pavement. And no one wants a house with a damaged up driveway! Rather, a shovel with a rubber blade or a plastic shovel are best to get the job done and won’t scratch any asphalt.

•     Flower and plant upkeep
As only evergreens are evergreen, not all plants and flowers do well in below freezing conditions. Though we’re approaching spring (it might’ve been here earlier if it weren’t for Punxsutawney Phil), caring for your plants with these tips now is still worthwhile and you can even use them next winter too. Depending on what plants you have in your garden, some may be able to be brought inside for the winter and re-bedded in the spring, while others just won’t fare in cold. If you’re unsure of what to do with annuals, it is recommended to completely remove annuals from a landscape, as they don’t survive from year to year. As for perennials, cutting those in the ground back to soil level will help them survive the cold. Removing debris and adding a layer of mulch to all plants remaining outdoors will help prevent fungi that could infect new leaf tissue once warmer weather arrives.

•     Plant!
We know you’d rather plan your leisure time indoors where the warmth is, but did you know that late fall and in the winter are great times to plant a tree? The tree is introduced to the coldest weather right away, and when spring finally does come, you have provided a new home for animals as well as a new part of an ecosystem that everyone will enjoy. Before you go about planting all willy-nilly though, there are a few things to consider. Does the space you’re planning on planting in have the proper soil for a tree? Will the tree be able to survive there once it is fully-grown? The answers to the questions and more can be found here — before you plant, that is.

Though the fireplace and a cozy blanket may be tempting, putting on those boots and that parka and heading outside to help improve your home’s value can help you in the long run. Whether you plan on moving sometime soon or have settled into your home for good, maintaining your landscape during winter months helps both your landscape and your home.  

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