Kentucky is blessed with four seasons, giving our landscapes four distinct personalities. Spring gets us excited with a cleanup of winter debris, fresh mulch, and the emergence of flowers. Summer means fresh cut grass with straight lines, hedges shaped just so, and flowers growing into the fullness of their promise. Fall brings new colors and textures, new flowers, and a sense of putting the landscape to bed for winter. And then the landscape hibernates until spring, right? Not exactly. The landscape does not sleep during winter, it is still alive and has subtle changes. That’s why spring needs a cleanup. But why ignore the fourth season? Your landscape still has needs in winter.
Your landscape management contract probably runs for a full twelve months, though chances are you only purchased services for the growing season, which is typical in Kentucky. Ignoring winter season services keeps your landscape from looking its best, and can actually lead to some plant health problems.
Winter weeds are perhaps the biggest nuisance of the winter landscape. These cool season plants take over planting beds and flower beds alike, but are easily remedied if biweekly visits are made. Often times they can become so prevalent that they smother out winter flowers. Another housekeeping task that makes a big difference is trash removal, which can also be done on the biweekly visits. Litter and debris accumulate quickly, don’t let that unsightly mess wait until spring for cleaning.
Plant health can also be addressed during the winter months. Perennials and grasses often provide visual interest until late in the year long after regular site visits have ended. But they start declining before spring cleanups begin. Purchasing a midwinter perennial cutback will not only improve appearance but also remove the spent foliage which can be a harboring place for pests and diseases – and occasionally rodents. Leaf spot and floral decline problems will be reduced by removing spent foliage in a timely manner. This allows for healthier plants come spring, and healthier plants not only look better but also bloom better. These simple recommendations are cost effective means to keeping your landscape looking good all four seasons, and improve your landscape’s overall health.