Can you do Landscaping During the Winter Months?
In a word, yes. In fact, there are some situations where landscaping is actually preferable during the winter months because it can be easier than it might have been during the warm-weather months. The cooler weather of fall and winter leave the soil temperature in an ideal condition for planting shrubs, provided that the ground is not actually frozen. It will even be better for plants sometimes, because this is a season when many plants go dormant, and that means planting will be much less of a shock to them, and there will be less chance of them failing in the new environment.
Plants also require less water when the temperature is cooler, so you won’t have to pay as much attention to daily watering. If you were to plant something in spring or summer, you’d have to be much more aware of daily temperatures, so you could ensure that your new plants receive adequate hydration. Not only will your plants appreciate the cooler weather, but you will also. During summertime, you’d likely have to exert a lot more energy to do some landscaping and planting than you would during the cooler weather of fall and winter.
Winter might be the perfect time for installing new patios, retaining walls, and some types of water features like irrigation systems. Most landscapers are booked solid during the spring and summer months, and it might be difficult for you to even get on their calendars. But that all changes during fall and winter, and you’ll probably find that your preferred landscaping service has all kinds of availability during fall and early winter. Most likely you’ll also find that rates have dropped because of the off-season timing, and you can more easily afford to get your pet landscaping project done by the pros.
There are some other advantages to off-season landscaping as well. If you are a frequent visitor to the local garden shop, you’ll know that everything is priced lower during the off-season, and you can purchase most of your gardening products at a considerable discount. Given the fact that there is lower demand at this time of year, the price just drops down into a more affordable range. This may also be true of the landscaping service you work with to have your new patio or retaining wall installed.
Advantages of winter landscaping
If you’re planning a landscaping project involving new plants, wintertime might be ideal for you, because it will give your plants time to get acclimated to their new environment, before the heat of next summer arrives. The real threat to your plants doesn’t come from winter weather, but from the sometimes broiling heat of summer, which can be enough to wilt a great many plants which aren’t fully established. By getting them in place during fall and winter, you’ll be giving them the time they need to acclimate and be ready to face the really tough summer season.
This fact goes hand-in-hand with the idea that many plants achieve a condition of dormancy during the cooler months, and that prevents them from being shocked by the transition into the ground outside your home. With this threat minimized, your new plants are much more likely to survive the huge transition period from plant pot to natural soil.
All this being said, there are some situations which you’ll want to avoid with winter landscaping and planting. For instance, you shouldn’t plant anything when the high temperature for a given day doesn’t rise above 35 degrees. You also should not plant when the ground is frozen to a depth of six inches, because roots won’t have a chance to become established. If you’re doing a landscaping job which involves the use of mortar, make sure there is no freeze on the horizon for at least 24 hours.
If you can accept the fact that winter landscaping will generally take a little longer than a summertime project would, you should have no trouble pulling off most of your intended wintertime landscaping projects.