Landscape Logic: How winterize your landscape and garden in Vail | VailDaily.com

Landscape Logic: Here’s how you can help put your plants to bed for a healthy landscape next year

By Neils Lunceford
Landscape Logic
If you quit watering too early, the dried-up plants will actually be in worse shape next year.
Special to the Daily

Fall began just recently, but it’s time to think about putting our landscape and plants to bed for the colder months. It’s a good time to give plants a little extra TLC that will pay off in a healthier and nicer landscape next spring. 

September and early October are critical times for plant care and moisture. Even with the nights cooling off—maybe you’re looking ahead and shutting down your sprinklers to avoid damage from an early freeze—you should keep watering. The worst thing you can do for your lawn and garden is to allow it to become drought-stressed just prior to winter. Drought stress will push the lawn into early dormancy, causing it to shut down its energy before the grass has time to store nutrients needed to survive the winter months.

But at the same time, you shouln’t be watering the same way you do in mid-July. Now is the time to start slowing your watering schedule and judge when to do it by the temperature, not by the date.

If high daytime temperatures continue, you might need to keep watering three times a week. Then, getting into winter, water every two weeks if temperatures reach 40 degrees or above—but only in those conditions. Don’t water when there are freezing temperatures—that can result in damage to your plants. 

Here are a few additional tips to prep your landscape for winter.

  • Talk with a landscape professional about fertilizer–your plants may need a little food to keep healthy through winter.
  • Pull any weeds you see—any weed that you can eliminate this fall will mean fewer weeds to deal with next spring.
  • Put down mulch on your flower beds–this helps them regulate soil temperature over the winter and keeps bulbs and seeds healthy.