The Top Ten Winter Landscaping Tips

​During the winter, you might not have much motivation to work in your yard. The cold weather and snow can be a major deterrent. If you’re one of the few willing to brave the cold, it can really pay off.

Winter Landscaping Tips
To Make Your Yard Look Great

1. Trim Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges

​Some plants, like hostas, peonies, and daisies, are dormant in the winter. If you have any dormant plants, you should prune them. Because they aren’t active, the pruning won’t affect them in any way. You don’t need to worry about new growth that can’t handle the cold weather.

If you have any evergreen or deciduous trees, you can also safely prune them. Unlike other garden growth, they can handle a winter pruning.

Although pruning is crucial to a healthy landscape, it can also be harmful. Cutting the wrong branches can do more harm than good. You should only trim falling or dead branches. If you’re unsure about your pruning skills, you should work with a professional. They have the knowledge and skill it takes to remove the right vegetation.

​2. ​​Prune Your Garden Bed Plants

​Before the spring arrives, you can prepare your garden for the coming season. When the warm weather does arrive, you’ll have less work. Your garden can take advantage of the optimal growing conditions and can take off growing or blooming faster.

To prepare your garden, prune everything in your garden beds. Be sure to only remove dead or dying vegetation. If you remove too much, you can harm your plants.

​3. ​​​Remove Debris from Your Beds and Define Them

Once you finish pruning, you should remove all the debris from the ground. If you fail to do so, snow could fall on it and cause mold to grow.

When your beds are free from debris, identify the edges of the beds. Use an edger to clear the long grass. Then, take your lawn mower and mow near the edge of the bed. You’ll get a clear line that shows you the location of your garden beds.

4. ​​Plant Bulbs

​Once you can clearly see the boundary of your garden beds, you can plant some bulbs. As you plant them, keep in mind that they need a well-drained area.

For the best results, you should plant them in an elevated bed. When the spring arrives, it shouldn’t take long for the bulbs to grow.

​5. ​​Decorate Your Summer Containers

Why let your summer containers sit empty? Instead of staring at the vacant pots and accessories in your yard, fill them with something eye-catching. If you want to add a splash of color, plant some holly. There are several species of bushes that have bright winter berries. Re-purpose your summertime containers, and add life to your garden.

You don’t even need to spend money on plants. For a simple addition to your garden, place fallen evergreen branches in empty containers. A little green can go a long way to enhancing your garden.

6. ​​​Determine What Decor Your Garden Needs

​In the winter, your garden is sparse. This gives you the perfect opportunity to think of ways to decorate. Consider what areas of your yard are too empty. Do you need a bench somewhere? Would a trellis add to your yard? Without the lush vegetation catching your eye, you can find out what you’re missing.

Although you can’t do much planting in the winter, you can add decorative pieces like a bench or trellis. Take the time to shop around and find the perfect accent. Then, you can play around with the placement until you find the perfect spot. You might not be able to enjoy it in the winter, but you can in the spring and summer.

​7. ​​​​Regularly Remove Debris from Your Lawn

You might not have snow on your lawn all winter. When the snow clears up, you should clear the leaves off of your lawn. Leaves that pile up on your lawn prevent the sun from getting through. Then, your lawn starts dying. If you want your lawn looking healthy and green, you need to actively remove debris throughout the winter.

​8. ​​​​​Tie Up Your Evergreens and Boxwoods

​Some evergreens and boxwoods have fragile branches. When those branches accumulate snow, they can cause limbs to break. The best way to avoid the damage from snow is to loosely tie your trees. By doing so, you give the branches more support.

It’s important to avoid knocking off snow from the branches. If you do, you risk breaking the branches. They tend to be very fragile in the extreme cold.

​9. ​​​​​​Organize Your Storage Shed

​Whether you store your gardening tools in a shed or a garage, you should organize them in the winter. There are several reasons for this. First, it prevents you from leaving tools in a state that could cause damage. For example, your lawn mower and other power tools should be empty of gas. If you leave gas in your tools, it can clog your fuel lines. As you go through your shed, you can make sure all of your gas-powered tools are empty. Organizing your shed also allows you to prepare for the spring. You can sharpen all of your tools so they are ready for you when the warm weather arrives. If you have any wooden tools, rub the handles with linseed oil.

While you organize your tools, you should think about your irrigation system. One critical mistake is forgetting to winterize your irrigation system. Before the very harsh weather arrives, turn off your water and cover your sprinklers.

10. ​​​​​​​Dress for the Task

​Although this tip might seem obvious, it’s important. Working on your yard in the cold weather can be dangerous. Be sure to dress for the task. If you don’t have the right gloves, hats, or boots, invest in them. The winter can be brutal on your extremities.

By dressing the right way, you can spend more time in your yard. With a little effort, you’ll be ready for a new growing season.


Colin Thomas MacMillan

Colin Thomas MacMillan, CEO of Riverwood Landscape, boasts over 8 years of expertise in landscaping and 3 years in transportation and logistics. A prominent figure, he serves as a board member for the Waterloo Chapter of Landscape Ontario and has been a vital part of the community for five years. Recognized for his insights, Colin has contributed to major industry events, including LeadsCON 2023. His entrepreneurial journey in landscaping began post-high school, driven by a lifelong aspiration and self-taught skills. Outside work, Colin's interests span history and video games, and he's dedicated three years to learning German, reflecting his commitment to personal growth. His professional ethos emphasizes a resilient, people-first approach, advocating for mastering current tasks and prioritizing quality in business and client relations. An avid reader of industry articles and an active networker, Colin's dynamic approach to professional development cements his status as a leader and an inspiration in landscaping and logistics.

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