By Michelle Portesi
October was a month of heavy precipitation with both rain and snow. The ski areas are anticipating opening before Thanksgiving, and before you know it, winter will officially be here.
The Sierra Sun has a wonderful article on getting your house ready for the season. Among their suggestions were these tips:
* Get your chimney swept out. Nothing puts a damper on the season like a chimney fire. And if you haven’t ordered your wood yet (Whoa! Are you late!!!) best get that lined up ASAP.
*Check your roof and clean out your gutters.
* Check your furnace and put in new air filters.
For more of their home winterizing suggestions, go here: sierrasun.com
Getting ready for winter isn’t just about your house though. If you want your yard to survive and thrive next spring, you’ll want to take care of a few things outside as well.
* Fall is for planting. Now is the best time to get those plants, shrubs and trees in the ground. Planting in fall allows the plant to put down some roots during the winter so that when spring arrives, they’re acclimated and ready to burst with new growth. While you can still plant in the spring, it can send the plant into shock just as they’re starting their growing spurt, so best to do it now. Landscapers are crazy busy this time of year for just this reason, so call around to make sure someone has time to put you on their schedule.
* Now is also the perfect time to throw wildflower seeds around. Rake up your ground a bit, cast your seed and then spread seed cover over them. They will lie dormant until the spring snow melts, giving them a germinating shot of water to get them started once the ground warms up.
* Get some gardeners tape and wrap up your shrubs and immature deciduous tree branches into tight columns. Winter’s heavy snows can break branches and destroy years worth of growth. Do the same with any potted plants and move them away from roof lines to avoid large, damaging dumps of snow on them.
* I’ve had a horrible time with aphids on my columbine and lupine, and as it turns out, it’s because of what I didn’t do in the fall. I’ve just let the plants die back naturally and that’s actually the worst thing you can do. Aphids lay their eggs in the leaves in the fall for hatching in the spring. So if you’re having trouble with aphids, be sure to cut plants (any that normally would die back in winter) below the leaf line and throw it in the garbage.
*Remember to detach all your hoses and put them in a dry place. Hoses attached to the bib can freeze and that can lead to freezing and a break in the line. And turn off your sprinklers and drain the system if it doesn’t automatically drain.
Here is more advice on how to protect your plants with mulch and ‘heeling in’ anything that’s still in pots. smartpots.com
And don’t forget about your car. With this weeks early snow and heavy rain, both I-80 and Hwy. 267 were closed down for hours because of accidents. Pete Bansen. chief of the Squaw Valley Fire Department has an informative (and highly amusing) article about preparing for winter driving: Don’t be ‘That Guy’.
Find your snow shovels, car snow scrapers and brushes, mittens, hats, winter boots and jackets and have them at the ready so you’re not fumbling around looking for them when you need them the most. Invest in a car Snowhoe if you don’t already have one. It makes getting snow off of your car ten times easier.
Be Safe and Have Fun This Winter!
THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!