As we enter the cold season in San Diego, many people have outdoor landscaping that they may not know how to properly care for. Although our lower temperatures and rainy season are relatively moderate, too many people presume that the change in weather does not warrant a change in their landscaping tasks. Fortunately, there are proactive and preventive steps you can take to stop any future damage to your San Diego landscape and ensure it is on track once the cold season passes.
1. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE LAWN
Because our winter is less than dramatic, people assume their lawn will be fine during the winter – that is wrong! Although we don’t have heavy snow, people need to protect their lawns. To do so, aerate and seed the lawn in December to prevent damage from the cold and wet weather. Once those steps have been taken, use fertilizer to help the lawn’s growth through the weather. Taking these preventive steps now will allow your lawn to survive the winter and spring back into life!
2. CHANGE THE PLANTS FOR YOUR GARDEN
A garden is a wonderful addition to any landscape. If you planted your spring or summer garden this year, then your plants may already look wilted and done for the season. As the cooler months approach, consider planting your winter season crops such as root vegetables and leafy greens. These can include spinach, kale, celery, carrots, turnips, and leeks to add some green to your garden. We recommend a staggered approach to your cool season gardening, plant a portion of your cool season crops now, wait 3-4 weeks and do it again. This ensures your garden will grow in abundance throughout the entire season.
3. PROTECT SENSITIVE PLANTS
Because of our beautiful weather, many people have vulnerable plants that need protection in the winter months. This may involve moving certain potted plants indoors for the next few months or covering them with protective plastic.
4. BRING COLOR TO YOUR YARD IN WINTER
It can often be difficult to find a plant that can handle the change in weather while still bringing color to your yard but they do exist! Snapdragons are an ideal plant to thrive in the San Diego winter. They handle cold weather well but not heavy freezing temperatures. Additionally, carnations handle moderately cold weather and come in a variety of colors. If those are not an option for you consider kafir lilies, phlox, yarrows, or camellias.
5. CHANGE YOUR SPRINKLER CYCLE
It is easy to forget when you have an automatic sprinkler system, but over watering can damage your landscape during the winter. As the wet season approaches, regular automatic sprinklers are not necessary. It is not careless to leave your sprinkler system on but it can cost money that is easily avoidable. Pay attention to the weather and turn on your sprinklers as needed but for the most part, the rain will take care of your lawn for you.
Despite our winter season approaching, many San Diego residents can still enjoy their outdoor spaces throughout the entire year. Take care of your winter landscape now and continue to enjoy our mild weather while entertaining guests and family outside. Check out our outdoor entertaining tips for ideas on how to enjoy the holiday season in the fresh air!