Q: What do I need to do to get my landscape ready for the winter?
A: There are a few things which should be done immediately if you have not already done them. It would be a good idea to add potassium (potash) to your lawn now. Fertilize your palms and cycads with a palm fertilizer configuration of 8-2-12-4 (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Magnesium). Use slow release for acid soil and quick release for alkaline soils. If your palms are small enough, consider spraying the bud with a fungicide to protect it from any potential fungal or bacterial diseases if a freeze causes damage to the bud tissue. Be sure your plants do not experience any long periods of drought before a freeze. This means it is essential to irrigate plants 24-48 hours prior to a freeze. It is important to pay attention to weekly weather forecasts so you will not be caught of guard. Plants in containers are very susceptible to drought and therefore freeze damage, check them prior to cold snaps. However, over watering them or any landscape plant can cause as much or more damage than freezes so do not over do it. Cover tender perennials prior to hard freezes (4 hours of 28 degrees and below) but be sure the cover material reaches all the way to the ground to help trap any heat coming from the ground. Remove the cover once the threat of freeze is over.