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How to Properly Winterize Your Home

winterized home

Every year snow and ice wreak havoc on landscapes across the Midwest and it’s not just your garden that suffers. It’s important to properly winterize your home so you can avoid potential damage from freezing temperatures, snow and ice. Here’s how to prepare your home for the cold weather.


grass in winter

The best way to take care of your grass during winter is to be proactive.

  • Fall is typically when leaves take over your yard but that doesn’t mean it’s the only season you need to be raking. Whenever you have the chance to rake your lawn — take it!
  • This is how you prevent any mold or fungus from building up.

  • It’s also important to cut your grass short BEFORE the snow hits. Not only will this protect new growth, it also means less work when all the snow melts.  Aim for about three inches in length. 
  • Finally, fertilize your lawn. It’s going to be quite a while before your grass sees sunlight, so give it the nutrients it needs.
  • For the best results, use fertilizer rich in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.

Plants and Treesflowers in winter

Freezing temperatures and heavy snow can devastate your landscape. The good news is it’s easy to prevent that from happening.

  • Make sure to bury the base of your plants and trees beneath at least three inches of mulch. This prevents the soil from freezing and reduces water loss.
  • Wrap up or cover plants that are prone to frost cracking … just don’t forget to unwrap them before spring.
  • Unless the temperature is below 40 degrees, keep watering your plants. Your plants will die if their water stores are depleted.
  • During winter, knock off any snow that builds up on your plants and trees. The heavier the snow gets the more damage it can cause.

Pipes and Drainsfrozen drain

Burst pipes and rusty gutters are very expensive things to fix. The problem is they can also be difficult to winterize. 

If you live in the Midwest, you need to winterize your home’s irrigation system. If you don’t, your pipes could burst because of the expanding water inside. You can manually drain them or use an air compressor to blow out the water depending on what system you have. 

  • DO NOT attempt to blow out your pipes without prepping them properly. If you’re unsure what kind of system you have, contact a landscaping or irrigation professional to help you.
  • Protect your outdoor kitchen. Similar to your sprinkler system, you need to ensure there is no running water flowing outside. Shut off all the pipes connecting outdoor kitchens to indoor plumbing and leave your drain valves open all winter.
  • Burst pipes and rusty gutters are very expensive to fix. Unfortunately they’re also difficult to winterize. If you’re unsure what kind of system you have, contact a landscaping or irrigation professional to help you.

Get Ready for Winter

The best way to care for your home this winter is to be proactive. With a little work you can properly winterize your home. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and enjoy a healthier yard when the snow melts.

If you found this helpful or want more tips like this then subscribe to the Torchwood Landscaping blog today. 

Or if you want to make any last-minute landscaping additions before that Midwest winter hits, then request a call with one of our experts and we’ll be sure to get back to you soon.