Typical Winter Duties Around the Yard
It is important to know that the Okanagan Valley is considered to be in Zone 6 or 6a of the North American Hardiness Table. This means that:
1. In a normal year the last frost occurs between April 21-30
2. In a normal year the first frost occurs between Oct 21-31
3. Temperatures are cooler the further away from the Lake you get and conversely increase nearer the lake.
Lawn Care Tips During the Winter
1. Don’t ignore your lawn just because it is cold outside. Even though your lawn is dormant, snow and precipitation, freezing temperatures, affect the overall health of grass
2. Avoid heavy lawn traffic through the winter. Grass is very resilient but will have a difficult time recovering if a path gets well-worn by humans looking for shortcuts
3. Products that melt ice on your driveway or sidewalks will potentially damage your grass. Damage usually appears in early spring on grass next to sidewalks and drives. Sodium chloride ice melt products are more damaging than potassium or calcium products. If you use any of these products be sure to shovel the surface first and then lay down the de-icer.
Garden and Yard Maintenance
1. Remove snow from evergreen branches by gently using a broom. Don’t bang the branches with your tools
2. Tool Maintenance may include the following:
- Service your gas-powered mower before the spring rush
- Store the mower without gas in the tank and be sure to remove old gas
- Replace worn out tools
- Repair and paint lawn furniture, window boxes etc
- Clean pots
3. Start your pruning program when the soil is still frozen and before buds appear on your trees. Deciduous trees benefit the most from a late winter prune
- Don’t cut flush to the trunk. Cut right above the branch collar which is the enlarged base of a branch
- When pruning large tree limbs always undercut from the bottom up first. Cut from the bottom about one third of the way up the branch, then finish by cutting from the top. This procedure keeps the branch from splitting and breaking off.