You with your favorite wooly socks, a cup of hot chocolate (with floaty marshmallows, of course), and watching the snow pile u………Wait, what? According to the Farmer’s Almanac (and cousin Earl, who fancies himself an amateur weather-guesser), winter in the south for 2021 could be a mixed bag of ups and downs with temperatures and precipitation. So, you never know. What to do then? First, we need to remember that the lawns, trees, flowers – your landscape, is dormant, not dead. While it needs the winter to rest and replenish, it still requires some care and maintenance. And as we’ve talked about in previous blogs, preparation now will lend itself to beautiful lawns (and less startup care) come springtime. With that, let’s focus on what needs to be done. Pruning, Pulling, Mulching In our zone (8 or 9), the late winter to very early spring is the perfect time to do the vast majority of your pruning, because it allows the plant to be protected against incisions that cause plants to dry out, which happens if temps drop below freezing. Pruning should be done on dry days to ensure diseases aren’t introduced that could be waterborne. This is also the time to pay attention to your plant’s shape and location of lower branches and to prune the plant in question according to the desired outcome. Look at your flowerbeds and outside planters and yank out those annuals that have seen better days, and you’ll be closer to ready when it’s time to plant anew. You can use this time to mulch around plants, especially those that are younger (i.e. saplings), or add wire mesh and burlap to protect them from frost or freezing temperatures. Take a look at your Hardscape, too! When you’re not having to worry about what to cut, grow, pull or plant, it’s a good time to look at your more permanent structures (hardscapes) and see if you can move, remove, add or change locations or styles. Things like benches, hanging pots, trellises, and so forth, are easy to get lost in the spring and summer if there is overgrowth or other elements pulling your eye away. But, like grandpa in a union suit, winter reveals all! Take a look around to ensure you are happy with your design, and if not, consider changing elements to new locations. You can also dress up your planters, pots and other hardscapes with winter features such as wreaths, pine boughs, ornaments, and on and on. Is that It? Not by a long shot. Part of landscaping concerns the tools you use. Some good tips to keep in mind: Drain your mower’s gas and oil. Most experts agree that just adding a fuel stabilizer is not good enough. Older gas will gunk up carburetors, clog fuel lines, and potentially damage other parts. Oil, which can do similar damage, should also be removed from your mowers. Drain your sprinkler systems. Find your main valve and ensure it is completely shut off. Then you should wrap it with insulation or even use just a plastic bag sufficiently wrapped around the valve and then duct-taped to withstand the winter months. If you have drain valves for your lawn zones, open them to release any standing water. And don’t forget to shut off your automatic timers! Sharpen your tools. Get out those pruning shears, shovels (yes, shovels), tree or pole saws, and so on, and put ‘em on your bench and get busy, or find a local tool sharpener and you’ll be ready once pruning or planting season begins. Need Advice? Krob Landscape has been through a winter or two (or three, or…ahem), knows the land well, and so are happy to impart our love for our area and its winter requirements with you. We are experts in maintenance, removal, design and installation of all things landscape, whether commercial or residential and will listen to your needs and then help to either build a plan or a quote to provide any necessary services we offer to keep your landscape the example of beauty. We are grateful for your business with us, thankful for your continued trust in us and know this season of giving lets us give you the best advice and ideas to keep your trust. We hope to see you soon and wish y’all Happy Holidays!