Many homeowners living in cold areas know that winter mulches differ from the ones we use during plants’ growing season in type and purpose. In spring, we use a mulch to deter weeds, provide plants with moisture, nourish roots, and keep the soil safe. On the other hand, the main goal of winter mulches is to insulate and protect your plants from winter frost, hard winds, and thaws. Our experts in lawn treatments in McLean, VA, are here to answer some questions regarding winter mulches.
Do You Have to Mulch the Lawn in Winter?
According to our fertilization and weed control company in McLean, VA, mulching in winter serves three purposes:
- Protect the soil and plants from extreme weather conditions
- Conserve more water into the soil
- Shield plants against the sun’s warmth to prevent new growth before its right time
What Winter Mulches Should You Use in Your Garden?
Organic materials of a loose, lightweight nature will do. Just make sure you pick mulches you can handle easily when you apply them now and remove them in spring. Here are some options recommended by our experts:
- Bark chips
- Straw and hay
- Pine needles
- Shredded leaves
- Nut hulls
- Evergreen branches
When Is the Best Time to Apply Winter Mulch?
It all depends on how winter looks and behaves in your area this year. Remember that your goal is to insulate the soil from frost and protect your plants from drying. Moreover, you need to keep plants dormant and avoid tender growth during the occasional winter warm spell. However, most plants will enjoy some extra protection if the winter seems to be particularly harsh this time around.
Our lawn treatments specialists in McLean, VA, recommend you start winter mulching when the soil begins to harden after the first killing frost. Hard frosts occur when temperatures start dropping below 27-28 F. If you are an experienced gardener, you will know when the hard frost hits once you look at your hardy annuals crumbling and browning.
Apply winter mulch just as you apply the spring one, following the same rules. You should not forget that you have to remove the leftover winter mulch in spring. Then, when the ground starts to thaw, and there is no risk of snow anymore, you can rake and remove the remaining mulch to encourage soil warming and plant growth.
If you need any more help with a winter mulch, don’t hesitate to ask our experts in lawn treatments in West Chester, OH, for their help and professional services!