Keep it class-y
Check out low-cost and even free horticultural courses available in person or online from community education, community colleges, your local university, and even local nurseries. Offering classes on everything from landscape design to pest control, vegetable gardening, annuals, perennials and more, a horticultural course will give you the know-how to tackle that gardening and landscaping project with confidence once the snow melts.
Get the garden growing
The next best thing to planting your garden is plotting it. Every gardener knows that planning for next year’s garden starts months and months before the first seed packets go on sale. Get a head start this winter and borrow or buy some books and magazines for fresh ideas and inspiration. Consider a color scheme garden (for example, all white blooms or just one or two colors); a cottage garden (informal design, dense plantings, with a mixture of ornamental and edible plants); or even a formal garden (plantings laid out with symmetry and geometrical designs). Plot your garden on graph paper, get your plant orders in early, then mark the days on your calendar ‘til spring. Feel overwhelmed with all the choices? Consult with a landscape designer for assistance.
Take root and plant a tree
The best time for planting trees is late winter or early spring, so now is the ideal time to choose the kind of trees you want to plant. Should your trees provide privacy? Shade? Block a view? Offer fruit and blossoms? While hardwoods tend to live longer, they also grow more slowly. Smaller, soft wood trees generally grow faster and flower quickly, but don’t live as long. Remember too, that deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn, while evergreens live up to their name, retaining foliage year round. Finally, when choosing trees, be sure they are an appropriate size for the environment. Trees closer to a house should be smaller, while trees farther out in yard can be taller and larger.
Plan the patio now
It happens every spring. You look around your yard and realize that a lovely, long summer stretches out before you…and you still haven’t put in that patio or pergola you’ve always dreamed of; not to mention the water feature you wanted. What are you waiting for? The time to start planning is now. Consult with a landscape designer and patio supplier in the winter months to discuss design, materials, cost and length of project. The folks who get their patios installed in the spring are those who get a head start on planning them now.
Get the green, green grass of home
Wasn’t this the year you were going to install that irrigation system? Remember, you had plenty of good reasons for wanting it—it will add value to your home; keep your yard green and growing which leads to a lush and lovely appearance; it will actually conserve water, which in turn, will reduce your water bills; and can even be installed with a completely organic Fertigation system — fertilizing through the irrigation system — because a healthy lawn requires less water. Like most everything else, the time to start planning is now. Call a reputable irrigation and lawn care company (like Rock Solid) and request a consultation. Come springtime, you’ll be kicked back on your hammock loving your lawn while all your neighbors will still be wrestling with sprinklers and hoses.