Just in case you’ve missed the memo, it’s winter here in Michigan. That means extreme cold and, at the very least, lots of wet weather, if not snow. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to winterize your outdoor living space. J&S Landscaping talks about this here every year because we want to help you protect your investments, not to mention your budget. It’s no fun to replace things that were ruined by our extreme winter weather. And it’s really no fun to hire someone like us to dig up your yard looking for the source of the leak in your irrigation system.

Winterizing doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your outdoor living space during the winter. On the contrary, when you winterize your outdoor living space you are ensuring that everything will be protected from the elements when you aren’t using them.

J&S Landscaping has some helpful tips that will make the whole job easier.

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Preparing your lawn & gardens for winter

 The idea behind this checklist is to make your life easier. You don’t have to do all of this in one day unless you really want to. If you are working with a tight schedule, pick one or two from the list below and work on them a little every day. Keep in mind that each small task will make a big difference when spring arrives.

  • Start by getting rid of any weeds in your flowerbeds and lawn. By pulling them up now, including the roots, you’ll ensure a weed-free start next spring.
  • Clear out any dead plants in your flowerbeds and trim back dormant ones. If you have a vegetable garden, remove annuals like tomato plants and squash that could harbor disease and insect larvae such as vine borers. Dispose of them by burning or throwing them away.
  • Give your lawn one final round of fertilizer before extreme temperatures set in.
  • Late fall is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs. They’ll reward you with beautiful blooms as soon as the ground is warm enough. Future You might even forgive Past You for the winter pounds when they walk outside and see them.
  • Protect the roots of tender perennials by adding a layer of mulch.
  • Don’t forget to drain your irrigation or sprinkler system. This simple step will prevent cracks and breaks in those expensive lines and fittings.
  • Allow your yard to go longer between mowing sessions and mulch the leaves and lawn cuttings into your lawn. This will help nourish your grass.

If you are too busy for seasonal lawncare, consider hiring J&S Landscaping to handle it for you. We handle all the above and more.

By following these steps, or hiring us to do so, you’ll ensure that your gardens and lawn are well-prepared for the winter months. Your future self will thank you when spring arrives and everything is in full bloom.

Winterize your outdoor living space: where to start

When preparing your outdoor living area for winter, it’s important to start from the top and work your way down. Begin by clearing away any cobwebs and removing clutter. Don’t forget to wash and store your grilling utensils to keep them in good condition. After that, give your food prep spaces a thorough wipe down. If you have concrete counters, take a moment to check if they need to be resealed. This step will protect your counters so they remain beautiful next year too.

Next, focus on cleaning your stove top and oven. Cooked-on food and grease not only look unattractive, but they can also damage the surface and fittings if left too long. Speaking of fittings, inspect them for any signs of rust and ensure that everything is tightly connected. Don’t forget to test all the knobs and shut-offs to ensure they are working correctly. The same attention should be given to your grill. Cover it properly to protect it from snow, water, and debris that could cause damage to the elements or the burner pan.

Moving on, it’s essential to clean out your outdoor fridge and remove any excess moisture to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. If your fridge has a water dispenser, remember to shut it off. If you don’t plan on using the fridge during winter, it’s a good idea to unplug it and leave the door slightly open to prevent mold buildup.

When you winterize your outdoor living space, not only will you ensure that everything will be in good condition when spring arrives, but if you decide to have a winter gathering, it will already be ready to go.

Winterize Your Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace

If you own a wood burning fire pit or outdoor fireplace, it’s important to give them a thorough cleaning. Remove any remaining ashes or wood pieces to ensure a fresh start. To protect your fire pit, cover it with a metal or waterproof canvas cover. Make sure your fireplace is completely cleared by shoveling out any debris. If your fireplace has doors, be sure to close them for added safety. When storing firewood, choose a cool and dry location to prevent it from getting wet. This way, you’ll have easy access to dry firewood whenever you need it.

For those with a natural gas or propane fire pit, check the fittings and wipe out the pan before covering it. This will help maintain the functionality and cleanliness of your fire pit. And both of these should be covered when not in use for extended periods of time too.

Outdoor Furniture and Patio: preventing weather related damage

To protect your patio or deck, sweep off any leaves or debris that can trap moisture against your pavers or the wood. This excess moisture can cause damage over time, so it’s important to keep it dry. During the winter, be sure to sweep off any snow as well. If you have outdoor furniture that can’t be left in the elements, store it in a clean, dry location. Consider purchasing furniture that can withstand the weather for next spring and just covering it when not in use. Adding seating walls made from pavers can also be a great addition to your outdoor living space. Store any lawn ornaments or children’s toys that might rust or break in high winds. Last, turn off any water features and drain the lines to avoid cracked pipes or damaged features. If the water feature isn’t too large, consider using a pool cover to protect it.  

Further suggestions:

Outdoor Lighting

Looking to enjoy your outdoor living space year-round? Why not think about incorporating outdoor lighting such as string lights and weatherproof lamps? Don’t forget to consult your landscaping architect about adding lighting to your upcoming project. At J&S Landscaping, we offer this option for most of our paver projects, including walkways and driveways. Not only will your outdoor living area and walkways look stunning with cap lighting, but that lighting will also provide added safety for you, your loved ones, and your guests.

If you already have outdoor lighting, be sure and inspect your bulbs and replace them if needed. Better now than some cold winter night when you need to step outside with the dog and can’t see because you’ve got a burned-out bulb.

Build a pergola or pavilion

Enhance your winter outdoor living experience by incorporating a pergola or pavilion to protect your kitchen and living area. A covered outdoor space is perfect for cozying up by an outdoor fireplace. Add some weatherproof heaters and you’ll ensure that your guests won’t want to leave the comfort and peace of your outdoor oasis.

Consider Windbreaks

You can make the most of the winter season without worrying about the chilly wind spoiling your outdoor fun. How? By incorporating a well-positioned tall retaining wall, privacy fence, or wide outdoor fireplace into your outdoor space. These attractive windbreaks not only provide privacy but also act as effective barriers against the icy breeze.

Did A Feature Mentioned Here Spark Your Imagination?

Overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in maintaining your outdoor lawn? J&S Landscaping has you covered! Or are you interested in adding a fire pit or outdoor fireplace? We’d love to help you build one for your next gathering. Maybe it’s time to updated your outdoor living space by adding a new patio or kitchen? We do those too!

J&S Landscaping is a member of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. We provide top-notch lawn care and support for plants, trees, and shrubs. And everything we purchase and plant for you has a one-year guarantee.

We are certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute to install paver patios & walkways, brick paver driveways, retaining walls, and more. We are an authorized contractor for Belgard and we’re so confident of our work that we certify our installations for two years. All of our crews are carefully trained, certified, and bonded.

Call today to learn more about what our company can do for you!




J&S Landscaping Fire Pit Winter