With temperatures already dropping below freezing in some parts of the United States, people are beginning the task of getting their yard ready for winter. Why do this? Simply because if you take the time now to prepare your yard for the cold weather, when it turns warm again, you will have less work to do because your yard will be healthier than someone who did not put in the time to winter proof the yard.
Your first step is to clean the yard up. This means that you remove those fallen leaves and debris that has cluttered your yard from the beginning of fall. You will also want to make sure that the weeds are pulled from the yard and that all those dead or dying flowers are removed as well. Why do this? Simply because if you remove the weeds now, you have less to deal with in the future. If you remove the dying plants and flowers now you reduce the risk of a disease that the dead plants could possibly spread to the other live plants. Installing rubber mating at your doorways will help catch wet snow from your shoes when winter rolls in. However, all in all, it just makes your yard look better for the dreary winter months ahead.
One of the main things that you do not want to do is to prune the shrubs and plants that may be in your yard. When you prune you are basically inviting the shrub or prune to grow and if you do this when it turns cold the plant is at a much higher percentage of dying simply because you pruned it. So do not do this, though it may be tempting.
This is also the time to plan for the upcoming spring. If you want to plant bulbs in the ground so that they will be ready by the spring time, now is the time to do this. Be sure that you purchase bulbs that can handle the extreme winter temperatures in your area. And remember that you need to plant these deep enough in the ground so that the frost does not reach the bulb. Some of the plants in your yard are going to need extra protection, this may mean covering the ground around the plant with a heavy duty plastic or mulch. Your best bet is to check the guidelines with the particular plant to see what you can do in order to protect it and ensure that it comes back in the spring. If you are unsure, a nursery should be able to help you this part.