Early Winter Yard Maintenance Recommendations

While the winter season gives us an excuse to stay cuddled up inside with a good book or our favorite television series, we certainly don’t want to neglect our lawn and garden for too long. There are some things you can do now to make your life easier in the spring!  

Winter yard maintenance is necessary and prudent for a healthy spring season for your yard and garden. It is a great time of year to focus on tidying and maintaining your plants, trees, garden, outdoor furniture, and even your wildlife sanctuaries. Here are some recommendations for the different aspects of your lawn and garden.


With the harsh conditions of winter, your plants need extra protection! There are a few things you can do to keep your plants strong and healthy during the winter months. 

  • Clean 
    • When you see piles of snow forming on your plants, it would be beneficial to throw on some gloves and brush snow off of branches, leaves, and bushes. Heavy snow buildup can cause your plants to bow or break. 
  • Protect
    • It is not too late to add protective layering over your delicate plants. Bamboo, burlap sheets, horticultural fleece, or even bubble wrap work well to cover your plants and protect them from freezing temperatures and intense snowstorms. 
  • Plant Maintenance 
    • On days that are cold but clear of snow, take a look at your plants and grass. If any spots seem damaged from winter weather conditions, consider cutting them back slightly. A fresh cut can give their roots the rejuvenation they need. 
    • Prune any shrubs or bushes to allow for fuller and greener results in the spring. 
  • New plants
    • Believe it or not – the winter months can be the perfect time for new plantings! Some fruits, vegetables, herbs, and shrubs need to be planted around this time, including shallots, bell peppers, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. The herbs should be planted and kept indoors until spring transplanting. Giving you the perfect project for winter months! 
  • Rock Salt
    • Rock salt can be very damaging to your plants and grass. Here is some insight on how to be mindful when using salt.


Take a walk around your landscape this winter and see if any garden beds, trees, outdoor furniture, decks, patios, or fences need a little sprucing. Staying on top of these areas of your landscape is essential because you can prevent further damage from happening by fixing any problems that may occur as they come. 

While it may be too chilly outside on some days, there are certainly plenty of winter days in Ohio that are bearable for a bit of winter yard maintenance. 

Here are some things you can do to keep your landscape in its best condition:

  • Check for dead or dying trees and branches. Cut them down and recycle/shred the materials to be used for mulch and compost. 
  • Invest in large tarps to cover any outdoor furniture, including grills, couches, chairs, swings, and tables. 
  • Clean off covered patio furniture from snow and ice buildup when necessary.
  • Repair broken furniture pieces or fences.
  • If you own a greenhouse, keep glass windows clean to allow for more sunlight. 


There are some supplies you can grab now from your local gardening or home goods store to keep you well-prepared once spring arrives. 

Slow-release fertilizers are excellent options for your plants and gardens during the winter months. With colder temps and the lack of sunlight that comes with winter, these fertilizers allow your plants to continue to receive nutrients, which is imperative for their strength and growth come spring. Fertilizer prices have been increasing a bit, so it would be a good idea to keep an eye on sales and buy before you need it!

Something to keep in mind for future years: adding a layer of mulch or compost to garden beds before everything freezes can keep them hydrated and better protected from harsh conditions too. Check out our selection of mulch and compost

If you haven’t already, it would be wise to invest in some supplies to protect your furniture and delicate plants. Consider purchasing large tarps for furniture and protective layers to cover your plants and keep them safe. 


You can also continue to take care of wildlife as the weather gets cold! When winter hits, it can be difficult for animals to find water and food. You can keep your wildlife sanctuaries up and running by continuing to supply food and clean water in your birdhouses, ponds, and birdbaths. Occasionally pouring hot water into the baths will help keep it from freezing over. You can also keep a tennis ball in your bath to keep an open hole for animals to access water.  

Providing shelter is another option to take care of wildlife during the winter months. You can leave a small pile of leaves and sticks in a corner near a fence or alongside your house for insects and frogs to keep warm. Additionally, if you have low shrubbery, you can help animals create a winter habitat by purposefully placing a pile of leaves/sticks next to the shrubs. Animals can then nestle underneath to keep themselves protected from the cold. 

Wishing you well in your maintenance efforts. It will be spring in Ohio before we know it!

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