As winter settles over the United States, it’s that time again to winterize commercial landscaping. Without the proper tactics in place, plants are harmed by windburn, large branches collapse from snow load, and sprinkler systems are completely destroyed by a long freeze.
The ability to properly winterize landscaping has a lot to do with the design process and the materials (such as planters and site furnishings) your property is landscaped with. TerraCast Products are made with all 4 seasons in mind. Our durable planters, lampposts and site furnishings are made tough enough to withstand even the coldest winters known to man.
How To Winterize Your Commercial Landscaping
1. Invest In Planters Tough Enough To Withstand The Winter
If you have ordinary plastic, concrete or stone planters you need to keep them out of the cold, or else you could be replacing them come spring. Some of the most popular planter materials are susceptible to cracking and breaking due to freeze/thaw cycles.
TerraCast Planters are carefully manufactured in the US using some of the toughest and highest quality materials. Our resin-based planters can be made to imitate the look of stone or granite without the drawbacks. Our planters can withstand a much wider range of temperatures. They do not warp, crack or distort in temperatures ranging between -40 degrees and 140+ degrees.
Regardless of planter durability, and depending on how cold your part of the country gets, you may still need to move planters or wrap them in a breathable fabric in order to protect your plants.
2. Winterize Plants & Foliage
As mentioned above, winterizing landscaping begins in the design phase and that includes which plants you pick. Native plants are going to stand up to the challenges of winter much better than non-native plants.
If your property includes non-native plants, you will need to move them to a sheltered area for the winter. This is especially easy if you have our lightweight portable planters.
If non-native plants are planted into the ground, you may need to dig them up and replant when winter is over. Or, give them the best chance to survive by wrapping shrubs in breathable fabric and/or spraying them with an anti-desiccant to help prevent branches from snapping due to the weight of snow build up. This also helps prevent drying out of foliage and branches due to harsh winter winds. Keep in mind that evergreen shrubs and trees require more protection than plants that shed their leaves. You can unwrap plants after the last snow melts and spring arrives with some much-needed sunshine.
Use a winterize fertilizer on your lawn and rake away any and all debris. Cut back your lawn and other foliage shorter than usual to help minimize the risk for developing fungal diseases.
3. Prevent Winter Burn
Signs of winter burn:
You can see large patches of brownish or rust-colored sections just above the snowline.
Leaves or needle tips have a scorched appearance.
Buds and twigs are dead.
Leaves and needles are very brown.
Preventing winter burn is as simple as:
Relocating plants that are prone to sun or wind damage.
Watering up until the first freeze of winter.
Adding a thick layer (3 to 4 inches) of mulch around the base of evergreens.
Selecting plants that are less susceptible to winter burn, which brings us to…
4. Add Winter-Friendly Plants
Grab some of our sturdy resin-based planters and add winter-friendly plants like dogwood, boughs, evergreen plants and so forth. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t have some greenery outside.
5. Clean Out & Shut Down Irrigation System + Other Water Systems
Towards the end of fall, just before winter begins, have your landscaper shut down the irrigation system and use a commercial blower to remove all of the water from irrigation pipes. Otherwise, backflow can cause an explosion that cracks underground lines and requires replacement of pipes and/or sprinkler heads. Hire a reputable company to take care of the task, otherwise you might end up with a big headache come spring.
This is also the time to partially drain ponds, pools and winterize pipes in the outdoor kitchen, or other parts of your landscaping.
Drainage is another important element to winterizing landscaping. Have someone inspect your drainage systems to ensure they are properly working with no blockages. This will help prevent a build up of puddles and standing water as the snow melts.
At the end of winter, have your entire system checked over to ensure no irrigation heads were knocked out of place by snowplows, and so forth.
6. Cover Site Furnishings
Bring your furniture inside, under an overhang or cover with a specially designed cover to protect against the harsh winter elements. TerraCast makes a wide variety of site furnishings using our specially formulated resin-based material proven to withstand the chill of winter.
7. Designate Snow Storage Areas
You’ll need one snow storage area for every 100 square feet of land or so. Make sure that the snow storage location does not interfere with snowplows. Store snow piles near plants that are extra hardy and able to withstand cold, moist conditions. Dedicate snow storage areas long before the first snow arrives. During this time, address any potholes, broken curb lines and so forth.
8. Carefully Apply Deicers
Selecting the right deicer is a precarious task, as many deicers impose a negative impact on foliage. As soon as snow melts, thoroughly rinse off any areas where deicers were applied to help prevent harmful contamination from road salt chemicals.
Prior to the start of winter, fill in asphalt cracks and seal pavers to help prevent water and deicers from getting beneath surfaces and creating costly damage.
9. Shop TerraCast Products
All of our commercial landscaping products and site furnishings are made to withstand the most brutal of winters. TerraCast Products offer unbeatable quality on planters, receptacles, benches, lampposts and more. Plus, all of our products are made right here in America!