February 8

Many areas of the country have been experiencing bad weather and a abundance of snow and ice. Although you may not think about it when you are out shoveling, your yard needs some special attention now too. Begin by taking a walk around your property. Remove the snow from tree limbs and shrubbery as soon as possible after storms. Not only will the snow and ice weigh them down, it can contribute to breakage and damage that can leave the plant misshapen. If you do happen to see some damage, prune it off now. Since the tree or shrub is dormant, it won’t hurt it and could prevent further damage.
Another thing to be mindful of is what you are using to melt the snow and ice. While rock salt is a wonderful ice melter, it not only will break up concrete when used extensively, but the run off into flower beds and grassy areas will burn and can kill plant material. Instead, shovel walkways as far down as practical, then use sand, kitty litter, gravel or even my favorite- birdseed- to provide anti-skid material. Not only will you walk more securely, you will be providing much needed food for your feathered friends as well. Enjoy the winter wonderland, but be safe and take care of your yard too!