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Help! My Garden Died Over The Winter!

April 14, 2021 4:37 pm Published by

With spring well on its way and summer just around the corner, you’re probably spending more time outside enjoying your gardens in the nice weather—maybe even planting some flowers in preparation for National Gardening Day on April 14! Maybe you’ve been preparing your garden for the warmer months, or working on some landscaping or hardscaping projects to enjoy later this year.

But maybe your garden is looking less-than-great. Trees that still look dead, flowers that haven’t bloomed, or grass that looks yellow or brown can drag down the look and feel of your lawn, and might be causing you additional stress. Maybe you’re wondering if the plants have died over the winter—and if they have, you might be wondering what to do and how to stop it happening the next time the weather gets cool.

Here, we’ll break down what to do about your gardens if they’re looking a little worse for the wear—and how we at Victory Lawn Care Services can help get your yard looking great and maintain it so it stays that way all season long.

How can you tell if your lawn or gardens are dead or just dormant?

While much of your yard may be turning green and budding, some plants might look dead for a while after the rest. Sometimes this really is because the flower has died—but don’t be too hasty to rip it out. There are a lot of factors that determine when a plant comes back from its winter dormancy, and different plants might have different needs.

The weather that you had over the winter can have a big impact on when a plant comes back—some plants need a certain period of cooler weather, and will be slower to come back after a mild winter. And plants know when there’s enough sun to keep them healthy—many won’t come back quite so soon during a rainy or cloudy spring. If you’d like to check, you can gently dig up the plant and take a look at the roots. If they’re brittle or mushy, the plant is dead—if they look healthy, the plant just needs more time.

When it comes to your lawn, many of the same rules apply—sometimes, because of weather conditions or particular plant types, your grass just needs more time. A lawn that’s a solid brown color is probably dormant—but a lawn where only patches of grass are brown means that those patches are probably dead. To check, you can pull up a strand of the brown grass. Grass that comes up easily is probably dead—grass that resists will probably turn green again soon.

What should I do if my plants are damaged but not dead?  

Weather, frost, and springtime temperature changes can harm plants, but that’s not a sign that your plant is sure to die. There are a few steps you can take to help plants that have suffered some damage but aren’t dead yet.

If a late frost damages your plant, hold off pruning any dead leaves until you’re sure that there are no more cold snaps on the way—these dead leaves can help keep the plant protected. Frost damaged plants—or other damaged plants—can also benefit from watering, which will supply much needed moisture to the roots.

However, if your plant has been damaged by too much water, more won’t help—stop watering until the plant starts to recover. Smaller plants can even be gently dug up and left to dry for an hour or so before replanting.

Why did my plant or grass die?

It can be sad when flowers, grass, or especially trees die—trees in particular, because of their size and long life, often become like friends to their homeowners. If a plant has died, it could be a result of age or disease, or because the soil isn’t right for the type of plant.

It might also be because the plants aren’t right for your area—this is especially true with newer plants, which might have trouble in weather conditions. Temperature and rain have a big impact—some plants can’t sustain big highs or lows, and can die after exposure.

While it’s often disappointing to lose a plant, you can restart with the new knowledge you have about what to do to help your plants thrive. If your plants have died, you could celebrate Earth Day by planting some new ones. 

How can I prevent these problems from happening again?

A long dormancy can’t really be prevented—because of weather, some plants will take longer than others. But you can take some steps to help protect plants and grass from damage. First, figure out what caused the problem in the first place—and then treat any underlying causes, like diseases.

Make sure the soil and location of your plants—shade or sun—is suited to the type of flower. Over winter seasons, you can take steps like pruning, mulching, or even moving some plants to containers to keep them healthy and protected all year long.

When it comes to keeping your grass healthy, avoid parking on it, or leaving heavy things sitting on it—this is especially important during the winter, but also during the summer. Move hoses around, and don’t let lawn furniture sit too long on any one spot. Figure out a mowing schedule and stick to it—that can help keep your lawn healthy.

How can Victory Lawn Care Services help me?

At Victory Lawn Care Services, we offer a variety of landscape maintenance services—from lawn/sod installation or lawn planting to mowing, hardscape installation, landscaping, yard cleanup, and more. We proudly serve the Germantown , Collierville and Memphis area with the best equipment and best team—we value our lawn-care experts and our clients.

If you’re ready to get started on your lawn project—whether that’s regular maintenance or a larger job—we’re here to help. Give us a call at 901-870-3720 or use our online form.

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