Just because winter is just around the corner doesn’t mean your backyard must lie dormant until spring. Here are some tips to follow that will help make your winter backyard a little more appealing during those cooler months.
Heat your pool
If you have a pool, winterizing this part of your backyard is probably one of your first priorities at the end of summer. What if we told you you didn’t have to drain and cover your pool at all this winter? There are a number of innovative solar powered technologies to choose from. Ask us and we will point you in the right direction depending on your needs.
Cover furniture and water features
If you live in an area that suffers from harsh winters then it would be worthwhile to protect your various outdoor items that could get damaged by the freezing temperatures and snow.
For items like fountains or grills, heavy duty vinyl covers should keep them safe and dry all winter. For outdoor furniture, look for covers made from water-resistant material to prevent any damage to fabric.
For any outdoor space in the winter to be appealing, it needs to be heated. If you don’t keep it warm then you’re going to prefer to rather stay indoors. Wood burning or gas fire pits always make a great option here, as they can double as both a heating device and a great patio centerpiece.
For the smaller outdoor space, try something like an electric patio heater, which is both powerful and compact, providing plenty of heat without needing a lot of room.
With fewer daylight hours during winter, outdoor lighting becomes even more important in your winter backyard plan. When you have a great landscape lighting plan in place it would encourage you to spend more time outside. Different areas call for different types of lighting, just like inside the home. For romantic lighting over a table for two, choose low wattage bulbs, but for a well-lit area for the kids to play, go with brighter LED bulbs that will incidentally use up 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
Line walkways and patios with staggered path lights, adding in some ambient lighting within the beds for depth. Accentuate architectural details you want to highlight with strategically placed light fixtures.
Heat your driveway/patio
Staying safe and slip-free is the number one reason to install a heated driveway or patio snow melting system. The main reason people do this is for safety. Many driveways are impossibly steep and homeowners are afraid of the fall hazard presented by ice build-up on drives and walks. So, making these areas more appealing and spend more time out there.
Move your plants indoors
If you have plants that can be easily transplanted, try moving them indoors before you get your first freeze. For outdoor planters too big to bring inside, wrap them with a heavily insulated material, like burlap, to keep the soil warmer and prevent damage to the planter itself. To reduce the shock of moving from outdoors to indoors, now’s the time to bring plants in to overwinter.
In a previous blog post we spoke about chickens in the garden.
Here are some simple tips to make life more comfortable for the chickens during winter.
1) Close all the coop windows and vents except a few small vents up high.
2) Add a thick barrier of straw to the floor and walls.
3) Try the Deep Litter Method.
4) Make a wind block in a sunny corner of your run.
5) Add logs or stumps for the backyard chickens to stand on to get up off the cold, snowy ground.
6) Feed scratch grains or suet treats before bedtime.