It’s finally December and winter is just about here! Before its starts to snow, there are a couple of preparations that need to be done.

  • First make sure that your garden hoses are drained of water and stored away. By doing this you prevent your garden hose from splitting. You see when water freezes it expands, thus causing your hose to expand with it; this will result in the possible tear of your hose.
  • Secondly it is also important to make sure your hose bib valves are also shut off  for that same reason. If they are left on, chances are they will freeze and break, unless you have a “frost proof” type of valve.
  • In addition, it is important to prepare your lawn mower for the winter since it will not be used for quite a bit of time. Start by changing the oil, and filter (if you have one) Once that is completed add a gas stabilizer to the fuel tank, start the engine and let the stabilizer get into the carburetor.  This will allow your gas to stay fresh until next cutting season. Why not just drain the fuel tank? If the fuel tank is drained it is possible that residual gasoline will remain in the tank and collect moisture. This could cause the parts in your fuel tank to rust and/or get water droplets into your fuel system.
  • What to do with your sprinkler system? It is crucial that it is blown out before the pipes freeze. Similar to the garden hose scenario above, the expansion of the water will cause the pipes, sprinkler heads, zone valves, etc…  to freeze and possibly burst.
  • When it comes to the landscape gardens cut back any dormant perennials and/or ornamental grasses.  You should also remove any annuals (impatiens, marigolds, petunias, etc…) from your gardens and throw them out.   Next, mound mulch over the crown of the rose bush. Use enough mulch to cover the crown of the plant (where the stems emerge from the soil) to a depth of 3 to 5 inches. In doing so, you’ll preserve your roses through the cold winter months.

You should now set to endure the winter temperatures!