Although winters in the Las Vegas valley can be mild by most standards, winter can still wreak havoc on lawns, plants and shrubbery. This is especially true when the temperatures dip below the freezing point. Use these basic winter landscape care tips to help protect your plants, trees, and shrubs from winter temperatures.
Prepare your Lawn for Winter
- Rake leaves and remove debris which may smother your grass or stunt any growth of new grass in the future.
- Cut grass shorter to around 2 inches in height to protect new growth and to prevent your yard from being a feeding zone for rabbits and other Las Vegas pests
- Fertilize and Aerate your lawn before the first freezing temperatures. Your lawn won’t use much fertilizer in the winter months but the needed nutrients will be stored in the soil to draw upon when the weather starts to warm.
Protect Trees and Shrubs
- Another winter landscape tip is to prune plants and trees in the late fall or early winter. This time is usually best for pruning because it is the dormant season for most plants, trees and shrubs. Trimming before the freeze allows fresh wounds to heal slowly before new growth continues in the spring. Pruning also prevents property damage that may occur from strong Las Vegas winter winds and hail.
- Refresh your mulch to help keep your perennials roots warm and safe during the winter cold. This essential step helps ensure that these desert plants will bloom again in the spring. The best time to add mulch is when the ground is moist, such as after a heavy watering or rain. The mulch will seal in moisture for the winter.
- Cover young plants and shrubs when before an overnight freeze. Young, newly planted trees need a little extra winter care until they’re thick enough to make it on their own new growth. Small plants, trees and shrubs are susceptible to freeze damage if left unprotected. In addition, all young trees and plants are on the dinner menu for rodents who feast on young plants when food is scarce in the winter months.
Protect your Irrigation System before an Overnight Freeze
- If the weather report indicated that temperatures will fall near or below freezing in the Las Vegas valley, be sure to shut off your outdoor water supply the night before. We recommend shutting of the outside irrigation value (not just turning off the irrigation timer).
- Insulate the main shut off valve so that it doesn’t freeze. Wrap the valve using foam insulation tape and a plastic bag. If you have any additional pipes above ground, you’ll need to insulate those as well.
- The last winter landscape care tip is to remove the end caps of your irrigation system before a freeze. Most all irrigation lines have a screw off end cap in each irrigation zone. By removing the cap before a freeze you will allow any water that does freeze a way to escape without swelling and cracking the lines.