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The holiday decorations are being stored away and the long season of winter lies ahead. We are no longer singing about jingling bells and everyone’s favorite animated snow man. ‘Tis the season to think about your landscape, right!? In fact, the early winter is an ideal time to do so. Here’s a list of reasons why it is important to think spring now, even though it is still many (long, dark…) months away.

Maximize your time this winter season to ensure you maximize your landscape investment come spring, summer and fall.

  1. img_4610-1024webThe early bird gets the worm: Everyone likes to be ahead of the curve. By the time the winter snow finally recedes to the blooms of spring, you’ll be ready for a fresh start. So take this time to get your renewal contracts in place, especially since it comes at the end of the year when annual budgets are prepared. Getting this important step out of the way now enables your contractor to make preparations and hit the ground running in spring. In fact, there are even certain services that can be performed now (Don’t believe me? See item 3).
  2. Lock in favorable pricing: Another important reason for executing renewal contracts now is to lock in more favorable prices. Contractors either use last year’s pricing or offer early-bird rates that are always better than those used closer to spring. This is because they can secure materials now at cheaper costs than when those same landscape products are in high demand. The logic is no different than buying sweaters in March, when retailers purge inventory for spring arrivals.
  3. Why wait: Just because the landscape is dormant doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. In fact, the winter is an ideal time to prune. Yes, pruning your shrubs and trees may be the furthest thing from your mind in January, but it’s the best time of year from a horticultural perspective. Now is the time to control, regulate and promote growth. Now is the time to rejuvenate a maturing landscape. As much as 1/3 of above-ground growth can be removed during dormancy with no harmful effects. Doing that type of pruning during the growing season would produce unhealthy and unattractive results.
  4. January attention brings (better) May flowers: Certain steps can be made over the winter to help protect your landscape investment as it weathers the winter. Proper cultural pruning (described above) can be paired with protective measures like installing snow fencing to ensure your plants and trees reach full bloom in spring. Preventative measures can help you avoid those browned-out evergreens and lackluster flowering ornamentals we’ve grown accustomed to in Northeast Ohio after our recent winters.
  5. Cure cabin fever: Alleviate cabin fever by dreaming and planning for that spring improvement project you’ve been thinking about for a while. Whether it’s a refresh of the landscape or the installation of a new patio, don’t wait until spring just to have those conversations with a professional. Contractors will be more attentive during the slow winter season than they will be during the peak of spring. Just because you’re not going to do the work right away doesn’t mean you can’t plan.

From planning to executing, there are important steps to be taken now with regards to your landscape. Some benefits can be reaped immediately, but all of which will bring returns come spring.

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