Winter brings great weather for tackling landscaping chores and projects. And, finally, the grass isn’t screaming to be mowed. Take advantage of cool winter temperatures to clean out beds, refresh mulch, plant ryegrass, transplant trees, install a pond, or build a shed.
At last, turfgrass is dormant and Florida homeowners can turn their attention to landscaping tasks other than lawn mowing and lawn care. It’s a welcome relief and change of pace.
This is also a perfect time of year weather-wise to get outside and take on landscaping chores. So, what needs to be done?
Prepare For Freezes
Obviously, freezes occur less often in south Florida than they do in central and north Florida. Nevertheless, wherever in the state you live, be ready for temperatures that will damage or kill cold-sensitive plants.
First, inventory your plants and shrubs and learn which ones are vulnerable to the cold. Then gather sheets, thermal blankets or burlap pieces for covering the plants. Clear an area of the garage to shelter container plants.
Clean Out and Rejuvenate Beds
By now, warm-season annuals are spent and should be pulled out. Replace them with cool-season annuals or let the ground rest. Deadhead perennials and trim back leggy stems. Get rid of all weeds and rake out fallen leaves that are piling up around shrubs and plants. Add a fresh layer of mulch to rejuvenate beds and protect plants from the cold.
Green Up Your Lawn with Ryegrass
Ryegrass is the go-to winter grass that adds a pop of color to turf that looks blah. Homeowners with Bahia often like to sow ryegrass, but other options include bentgrass, bluegrass, and fescue. Seed bags will have printed instructions as to how much seed you’ll need. For example, you’ll need ten pounds of ryegrass seed for every thousand square feet of turf you wish to cover.
Tackle Mistletoe Removal
This task will likely involve professional tree care workers. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows into the branches of trees. It spreads throughout a tree and ends up as an infestation that—if severe enough—seriously affects the health of the tree. Mistletoe grows in round, dark green balls which are especially visible in winter as some trees drop their leaves.
The average homeowner can remove low-hanging mistletoe clumps by cutting off the branch at least six inches above where the stem is attached. Clumps higher up are best removed by professionals in lifts.
Relocate Small Trees
Want to move a young tree to a different place in your yard? Do that now. Make sure you calculate the optimum root ball size for the best chance of transplanting success. Measure the thickness of the tree trunk six inches above the ground. The root ball should be one foot wide per inch of the trunk width. A trunk that is two inches wide six inches above the ground needs a two-foot-wide root ball.
Put in New Pathways or Garden Structures
If you’ve been itching to add a path or put in a pond or build a garden shed, now is the time. Research how to build, assemble, or create the feature; allocate a generous amount of time for the project; purchase the supplies, and get it done! (Or skip the above and hire someone else to do it.)