There’s Frost on the Pumpkin – No, Wait – It’s Snow!

It’s October 28, and believe it or not, we are in a winter storm watch for the weekend.  According to the latest forecast, we’re going to get 2 to 4 inches of snow in Wyckoff Saturday afternoon, and another possible 1 to 2 inches overnight into Sunday.

After record breaking heat in July, and days upon days of rain, including Hurricane Irene, many of us in the Northeast are wondering where Autumn is.  We had a peek of it – the leaves are turning, the air has been beautifully crisp for about a week.  A whole week.  Wow.  And now we’re getting the white stuff.

If we do get snow, it will be the earliest it has come to Wyckoff in all the years I’ve been with Horizon Landscape.  At the end of the work day today, after a long day of cleaning leaves, cutting lawns, winterizing sprinkler systems and building landscapes, our employees will be busy hooking up snowplows and getting the trucks ready for a snow event, after which they will have to be on call to work the storm if necessary.  I am proud to say that they do it without complaint, fully aware that snow is a part of what they do.  And I’m also proud to say they do it well.  We are fortunate to have such a dedicated staff.

After having record snowfalls in New Jersey for 2011, I have to admit that I’m not terribly excited for snow – well, not yet, anyway.  Autumn is my favorite season, with the trees turning beautiful colors, the air being crisp and clean, and farm stands full of apples, pumpkins and a variety of cold weather vegetables.  But on the positive side, snow that falls early in the season usually doesn’t stay very long.  So I am hopeful that once Mother Nature finishes her little weekend tantrum, we will get back to the business of enjoying the beauty that is Autumn.

When it comes to maintaining your property, the threat of winter weather does bring to mind a few important things for you to remember:

Have your sprinkler system winterized – water left in your sprinkler system over the winter can result in costly springtime repairs.  Check out my blog on winterizing for more information.

Have your gutters cleaned – arrange to have the gutters cleaned out after all the leaves have fallen.  Blocked gutters can lead to flooding, and potentially to water in your house.  When the ground is frozen it can’t absorb, so any water from rain or melting is going to seek out a place to go, which may wind up being in your basement.

Protect your shrubs with anti-desiccant spray and deep root feeding – winter winds can dry out your plants in a matter of hours.  Anti-desiccant spray provides a protective coating, especially for flowering shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons.  Deep root feeding provides under-the-soil nutrition to give the plants a boost in the spring.

With Hallowe’en on Monday, I’m hoping that whatever snow does come our way doesn’t spoil the trick-or-treating plans of our neighborhood kids.  Although, from a kid’s perspective, what could be better than candy and snow at the same time?