How To Prepare Your Mobile Home Landscaping For Winter
For most of us, fall means raking leaves and sipping spiced cider. It’s also the perfect time to prepare our mobile homes for winter. The moderate weather gives us time to tackle those projects we needed or wanted to do before the season changes yet again.
Maybe you’ve been focused on projects for the interior and exterior of your mobile home. But there could be another area that’s waiting for you. If it’s time to tackle your mobile home’s landscaping, then today’s article will help get you going.
Before we begin
First, let’s take note that different homeowner’s landscaping is different. Obviously, if you’ve planted plenty of trees, caring for trees may be the number one priority for you. Of course, prolific flower gardeners may have a to-do list that looks quite different from the tree-lover’s list. Additionally, if your highest landscaping aspiration is simply a lush lawn with a bush or two by your front steps, you may find your lawn care different from both of the above.
The why behind the work
So why do you care about landscaping anyway? Actually, different people may put time and effort into their landscaping for different reasons. Some may gravitate towards creating a lovely landscape because it’s a creative outlet for them – or they simply love beautiful living things. Still, others may be trying to keep their home up to the standards of the community in which they live. Plus, people may invest in landscaping because they want their home to look good before selling.
Getting to the green stuff
Honestly, it may not all be green. However, green or not, it’s time to run through some thoughts on getting your landscape ready for the season. Let’s address things you may want to do to some of the items in your yard or by your house.
First, we’ll start with the sometimes giants of the landscape – the trees. You love yours because they cast shade for summer days, perhaps providing a place for a comfy lawn chair and a book. In addition, some of them are great for the kids’ playtime, offering a place to sling an iconic tire swing or set up a baby swing. Plus, when the little ones get to the tree-climbing age, the trees themselves can provide some adventure.
If your trees are an integral part of your landscape you may be looking to do something to prep them for the coming season. Here are some things to keep in mind for trees already in the ground.
- Mulch around them.
- Prune them (once they’re dormant).
- You may want to wrap them.
And if you love trees but simply don’t have enough of them, don’t despair. Did you know you can actually plant new ones in this season?
Now we’re on to the stereotypical staple of lush, green lawns – grass. Now, we’ll admit that bare feet in the grass may not be for everyone. But if you love the grass between your toes, then you know at least one reason why a lawn in good shape is more enjoyable than a browned, crunchy version.
Doubtless, nice green grass could be fun for picnics. And, a well-kept lawn could provide a great spot for games like bocce, croquet, badminton, or volleyball. Plus, it would be just plain nice to look out your mobile home’s window and view a good spread of green grass.
When it comes to grass, here are a couple things you may want to remember:
- As we mentioned with trees, you can actually plant grass in the fall season, too. If you have patches that look less than grassy, go ahead and fill them in.
- Give the lawn enough to drink.
- Keep it clear. By this we mean, rake it. As leaves and other things pile up, clear them off.
Next up, shrubs. If you’ve posted some shrubs by your porch to add a pleasant touch to your home’s appearance, don’t let your work end there. This season, take some time to prune those members of the landscape. Also, just as we mentioned with trees and grass, now might be a time to get some new shrubs in the ground.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to some non-deciduous shrubs is that you could opt to cover them for the winter. This can protect them from getting too much sun and from being nibbled by hungry animals.
Unless you live in an area where perennials can make it through the winter, you may need to cut off some of the plant, leaving part of the stem. However heartless this sounds, it’s actually for the plant’s own good. Plus, during the fall, you can compost around perennials.
Let’s say your colorful and fragrant flower bed (or whatever annuals you have) brought you plenty of joy this year. And you might feel loathe to pull them up even once they’ve bitten the dust. But, we suggest you do so anyway.
First, be realistic. Are they contributing positively to the landscape anymore? Another thing – removing them can be a way to keep other unwanted organisms and pests from feeding on them.
Helping the hardscape
Don’t forget that living things aren’t necessarily the only element in a landscape. What are some things you might want to do for the non-living elements of your landscaping?
Clean. Though this may seem obvious and too easy, we suggest you clean surfaces of debris to prevent staining and problems like mildew.
Repair. Tackle repairs before the winter season sets in. Not only is it harder to make repairs in winter, but it could also further damage areas that already need fixing.
Prepare to take care. Next, we suggest you lay in supplies to tackle snow or ice if you live in an area that’s prone to it. Obviously, be sure you have a shovel for snow removal. And keep in mind you may want to steer clear of the metal kind which could be unnecessarily rough. Additionally, be ready with something to help you keep walkways safe for treading on.
Preparing the pool
While it may be a ton of fun for summer afternoons, your pool probably isn’t winter entertainment. Sure, cool water can be a pleasant antidote to a blistering summer day. But, if you try to use your pool in the winter months in some locations, you could find yourself miserable and even hypothermic. Clearly, in some places, a pool is not a year-round thing.
Once cold weather hits and swimming days are over for the year, you may be looking for tips on how to prepare the pool for winter. Whether your pool is an inground or not an in-ground, make a plan for how to get it through the next season.
More thoughts on your mobile home’s landscape
As you make your plans for winterizing the area surrounding your mobile home, here are some other thoughts.
The watering system
Let’s say you already have a system set up that saves you time and effort when it comes to keeping the grass watered. Though you love it during the non-winter months, you may need to “shut it down” when the temperature drops. If this sounds like you, take a moment to check out how to get your system ship-shape for the cold weather (hint: scroll to the end of the article).
A winter plant vacation
Now, what about plants that can’t stay outdoors but also can’t be tossed on the compost heap? If you have plants that can’t winter in a cold environment, consider checking with a local greenhouse. Ask if they have some extra space where your plants could stay during the cold months. Additionally, consider asking a local business that has space but will not be concerned about potential contamination your plants could bring.
Dreaming up next year’s landscape
Once you’ve prepared your outdoors for the onset of winter, take some time to plan for next year. If you’re sad at the “closing down” you’ve had to do, masterminding another season’s living things might be just what the doctor ordered!
For this project, consider acquiring some seed catalogs. Make a cup of your favorite hot beverage and take some time to leaf through the options (pun intended). While you sit and browse, fold over pages or otherwise mark items you want to remember for next year.
To make the project even more of an event, consider turning it into a family affair on a snowy or rainy day. Rope the family into the game by asking them to browse with you and then have each member share their conception of an ideal landscape. You might find that you’ve got quite a range of opinions. And this might mean that next year’s landscape gets a whole new look with the new input.
And gathering supplies for it
While you have the time, why not acquire some of the seeds and supplies you’ll need for next year? If you thoroughly enjoy browsing through seed catalogs and planning next year’s layout, why not add acquiring supplies to your process. While grass seed isn’t the best choice to actually plant this time of year, there are other supplies you could gather that you may not need to use immediately.
Now could be the time to search for discounted gardening supplies. For example, search for seed-starting containers. And see if you can pick up trowels, shovels, gloves, and more if you need them.
Continue searching in the “off” season for things to improve your landscape – whether it’s a small statue or a collection of flowerpots to put to use next year. In fact, you could make your search during the colder months a way to continue enjoying your landscaping interests.
Feeling the winter blues?
Unsurprisingly, cold, gray winter days can seem more discouraging to some of us than sunny summer days with sparkling blue skies. Additionally, loads of snow can get messy and inconvenient, leading some of us to wish for the return of warmer days. And if you’re someone who loves gardening and landscaping, winter cold could be preventing you from participating in your hobby. For those of you feeling a little down at the mouth about the winter season keeping you from planting and tending green, living things, hang tight and read on.
Bring the outdoors indoors
Admittedly, sometimes bringing the outdoors indoors is not a good thing. For instance, cleaning a rainy day’s mud off your front hallway floor isn’t exactly prime entertainment. And bringing burrs into the house from your hiking clothes isn’t much fun either. Yet, sometimes bringing the outdoors in could be just the thing for your decor.
Of course, one way to do this is with flowers. Simply purchase cut flowers from your local grocery store, cut them to a good length, and arrange them in your favorite vase. Or, to spread the beauty around, split up the bunch and place small arrangements in several rooms in the house. (Yes, even the bathroom could probably benefit from lovely, cut flowers.)
Another way to bring the outdoors in is to acquire some living plants and give them a place to stay in your mobile home. One way to go is to put small potted plants in your kitchen window. Or you could get ahold of a small tree and find it a corner – in your living room, maybe.
And don’t think you’re constrained to cut flowers or live plants. In fact, there’s actually potential in something like a tree branch to create a unique look. Plus, you could even consider certain tall grasses – you might be surprised to find you like the way they look in a tall vase. Still looking for ideas? Then head over and take a look at our Mobile Home Decor | Bringing The Outdoors In article.
Outside and inside
Once you get your mobile home’s environment ready for winter to roll in, take stock of your home itself. You may already have handled other winter preparations in or around the house. On the other hand, you may have dived into the landscape first and saved the rest for later. If there are still mobile home projects outstanding, check out our winterization checklist to get you started.